• Military Thought
  • 2003-03-31MTH-No. 001
  • Size: 10.4 Kbytes .
  • Pages:213-216.
  • Words: 1670

On the Combat Operations Experience of Soviet Troops in Afghanistan

Author: O. N. KALINOVSKIY, V. A. KULIKOV

One of the 20th-century armed conflicts involving our Armed Forces was the so- called Afghan crisis that started in the 1970s and lasted till the 1990s. Many politicians, diplomats and military officers sought (and are seeking today 14 years after the troop withdrawal) to analyze its importance in a number of publications appearing both in this country and elsewhere.

Among these, the military reader will certainly be attracted by a recently published book, whose author is Army General M. A. Gareyev, a prominent military leader, distinguished scientist, and also President of the Academy of Military Sciences. 1 The book provides an in-depth historical and theoretical analysis of the inception and development of the Afghan crisis and changes in the military- political situation in that country following the pullout of the limited Soviet troop contingent. It is also of much value that the contemporary events are presented by their direct observer and participant-the former chief military adviser to the DRA President-rather than some "armchair theorist."

We regret to say that certain media tend to give rather lopsided and superficial estimates to all editions of that book in order of their appearance, starting from the first. 2 In anticipation of this sort of estimates with regard to the new, revised edition, the author took as an epigraph this evaluation of the Afghan crisis, made by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Russia's Armed Forces President V. V. Putin of the Russian Federation: "Often they talk about the Soviet Union's defeat in Afghanistan. But if we look closely and professionally, not propagandistically, at what was happening in Afghanistan in those years, we will see that, properly speaking, there was no military defeat of the Soviet Union at all. It achieved all the goals it had put before itself. On the military plane. "

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