Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two tours - from Soviet to NATO in Afghanistan

The May/June issue of Military Review has a good article from the perspective of an Estonian army major, just back from a tour in Afghanistan, after a tour there as a Soviet SPETNAZ soldier some twenty years ago.  There are some interesting observations, e.g.
The first major difference was the rules of engagement. Soviet rules were loose, when they existed at all. NATO rules are very restrictive. They save civilian lives, but they also allow the Taliban to live and to fight another day. . . .
My first tour was all about offensive combat and taking out enemy logistics. My second tour was static defense, and the challenge was keeping the enemy from gaining the initiative. In both tours, the fight was about logistics and interdicting the enemy’s lines of advance, withdrawal, and communications. Deception was important in both tours, but more difficult in the second.
I have spent more of my life in the vicinity of Kandahar than I ever wanted to. Yet, I will go back again and, strangely, I am looking forward to it.

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