The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Three Key Decisions that Shaped the 40th Army's Operational Withdrawal Plan
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The accounts of why the Soviet Union struggled in Afghanistan are too numerous to count. This monograph examines the key decisions made by Mikhail Gorbachev and his political leaders, namely Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, leading up to and during the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the subsequent impact those decisions had on the 40th Army s operational withdrawal plan. This study also analyzes the motives underlying Gorbachev s and Shevardnadze s decisions and offers an analysis of the strategic and political contexts surrounding each decision factors not well known or understood within the U.S. Army. This study focuses on Gorbachev and his struggle to extricate the Soviet Union from a conflict that he reluctantly inherited, while still trying to maintain Soviet prestige and honor. The decisions Gorbachev made from 1986-1989, several of which conflicted with his military leadership, had a significant impact on the course of the 40th Army s withdrawal plan.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics