Accession Number : ADA328179

Title :   Goliath Falls Again: Soviet Failure to Exercise Operational Art in the Afghanistan War.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Boone, Donald M.

PDF Url : ADA328179

Report Date : MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 27

Abstract : The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, envisioning an opportunity to secure their southern border with a puppet regime and defeat Muslim fundamentalism. They entered the war featuring a European warfare paradigm: a mobile, mechanized force, focusing on mass and concentration, and highly suited to rolling terrain. Their experience in and support of guerrilla-style warfare all but guaranteed a quick and easy defeat of a disorganized, poorly trained and equipped band of rebels. Following a successful invasion, Soviet leadership fell prey to the space of Afghanistan, and in the process, shifted the initiative and the time factor to their adversary, the Mujahedin rebel forces. The Soviet forces never lost a major battle, yet they lost the war. They entered the war with quick, decisive action, but failed to maintain freedom of action. What were the issues that found them unable to grasp and implement the operational factors of space, time and forces in the theater of operations that led to denial of their strategic goals?

Descriptors :   *WARFARE, *MILITARY ART, USSR, MOBILITY, MILITARY STRATEGY, THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN), MILITARY DOCTRINE, FAILURE, BOUNDARIES, MILITARY PLANNING, AFGHANISTAN.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE