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Soviet COIN in A-stan

May 20, 2010

an interesting PPoint presentation by Lester W. Grau of the Foreign Military Studies Office, on the Soviet efforts in Afghanistan during their presence there. Presentation is in PDF format.

some interesting notes

Soviet Four Phases of War

  • December 1979-February 1980
    — Introduction & garrisoning of Soviet forces, secure LOCS, airfields, cities
  • March 1980-April 1985
    — Force build-up, operational approach changing to tactical, bloodiest fighting
  • April 1985-April 1986
    — Peak strength, yet shift to DRA conduct of war in October with National Reconciliation Program
  • May 1986-February 1989
    — Afghanizationand withdrawal

What the Soviets did right

  • Realized that they were in a mountain war and expanded mountain training facilities from one to seven and sent all combat soldiers through mountain training prior to deployment.
  • Fought in the deep mountains with lengthy ambushes.
  • Effective use of agent nets.
  • Built a large support base among 1000s sent to USSR for training
  • Effective withdrawal operation
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