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August 20 , 2007

Soviet Counterinsurgency


The aim of this paper is to determine the presence or absence of a Soviet doctrine of counterinsurgency and to identify the historical patterns of Soviet counterinsurgency. The development of these central themes should contribute to the secondary goals of the paper; first, to establish a fuller basis of comparison than is currently used in examination of Soviet and Soviet-advised counterinsurgent campaigns, and second, to add some historical depth to the developing body of work on Soviet counterinsurgency. This should allow for some useful generalizations about the Soviet approach to counterinsurgent warfare to be derived.
Counterinsurgency became a preoccupation of the U.S. military during the late fifties and early sixties. The U.S. involvement in Vietnam sustained interest in counterinsurgency and new challenges to U.S. interests in Latin America, Asia, and Africa have renewed attention to issues of counterinsurgency in the eighties. Although the insurgents (primarily the Central Asian Basmachi), and comparative surveys of the counterinsurgency campaigns of the Soviets in Afghanistan and various Soviet allies fighting insurgents since 1975. For the purpose of establishing the patterns of Soviet counterinsurgency the limited number of cases in the first two approaches is too narrow. Although the third approach examines more cases, it mixes dissimilar cases and blurs distinctions between Soviet methods of counterinsurgency and the methods of Soviet advised militaries fighting insurgencies.
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