Soviet Counterinsurgency Operations in Afghanistan (1979-1988)
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Hamstrung by their strict, Marxist-Leninist doctrine, the Soviet Union chose to fight the Afghan mujahidin in an overwhelmingly conventional style, with its later attempts to apply a form of counterinsurgency strategy consumed by a virtually unrestrained reliance upon the military element of its national power. Despite significant tactical improvements, the Soviet Union failed to demonstrate versatility and agility in their application of the instruments of national power. Their failure occurred despite the centralized command and control nature of the Soviet government, which should have been ideally suited for the implementation, and integration, of political, economic and security policies in the DRA. This study of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan offers historical context for participants in the current U.S.NATO mission, but also, specifically, helps these operators understand how another modern superpower recently chose to fight an insurgency in that country, with tragic results.
- Unconventional Warfare