Lessons learned from Afghanistan

By the Russians.

A primer by retired AF Colonel Dave Shunk, compiled from open source research ((244 KB PDF)).

Someday, somewhere, a retired colonel will be compiling one based on our experiences.  My guess is that it won’t look too different from this one.

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3 Responses to “Lessons learned from Afghanistan”

  1. EmeryNelsonon 17 Jan 2009 at 2:47 pm 1

    I don’t want to be too critical of this, but the main body of it has been available for a long time and for those who aren’t up to speed on this subject by now, it’s likely way too late. To gain a better and more complete understanding it might be wiser to read Les Grau’s work, most of it done in the early to mid 1990s or read his book, The Soviet-Afghan War”. Grau had access to the Soviet General Staff studies done after the war. A great read.

  2. Maxon 18 Jan 2009 at 9:31 am 2

    “I don’t want to be too critical of this,”


    Part of the problem here is, and I am as guilty as any,
    is that we just don’t know who’s on here, and what
    perspective, level of appreciation and deeper level
    of understanding they bring.

    Among regular contributors such as yourself,
    there’s never any doubt, but at least some measure
    of what’s on here has to play to a lower
    common denominator.

    I mean, I’ve been frustrated
    on occasion at some of the responses and commentaries,
    but in mature retrospective have come to realise that this
    is essential.

    I can’t really imagine any practical alternative,
    unless we conciede entirely to elitisim among ourselves,
    and we all appreciate that there’s probably no long term
    future in that. The following would otherwize never attract
    new participants, and will wither and die.


  3. Sven Ortmannon 18 Jan 2009 at 10:52 am 3

    The problem isn’t even one of armies being unable to learn; it’s in politicians who don’t listen to history.
    I was laughing when I learned that the U.S. was going to stay in Afghanistan.
    I considered Ranger/bombing strikes on identified camps as the best way to get rid of terror camps and expected a quick withdrawal after the Taliban had been chased away (the Taliban were likely inferior to the other civil war parties at that time and had no good recruiting arguments without infidels in Afg).

    I was crying when I heard that the German politicians were stupid enough to join the madness.

    I wanna kick some butts for excessive stupidity.