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The strategic lessons unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan : why the Afghan National Security Forces will not hold, and the implications for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan

Author: M Chris Mason; Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute,; Army War College (U.S.). Press,
Publisher: Carlisle, PA : Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press, [Washington, D.C.] : [For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office] 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were lost before they began, not on the battlefields, where the United States won every tactical engagement, but at the strategic level of war. In each case, the U.S. Government attempted to create a Western-style democracy in countries which were decades at least away from being nations with the sociopolitical capital necessary to sustain democracy and, most importantly,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Case studies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Mason, M. Chris.
Strategic lessons unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan
(OCoLC)912403496
Material Type: Government publication, National government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: M Chris Mason; Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute,; Army War College (U.S.). Press,
ISBN: 1584876832 9781584876830
OCLC Number: 914232360
Notes: "June 2015."
Print format not distributed to depository libraries.
Description: x, 222 pages : illustrations, maps (some color) ; 23 cm
Contents: Part I. Why the Afghan National Security Forces cannot hold, and the implications for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. Summary --
Relative geographical and force sizes --
Comparison of the ground forces --
Comparison of the air forces --
Comparison of the paramilitary police forces --
Comparison of the irregular forces --
Strategic impact of irregulars --
Military conclusions regarding comparable force sizes --
Close air support : the sine qua non of Afghan National Security Forces survival --
The unending civil war --
Attrition : the force killer --
The ethnic time bomb --
The elephant in the room --
Countervailing arguments --
Part II. Afghanistan year-by-year 2015-19. Motivation : why the Afghan National Army will collapse in the south --
Where does motivation come from? The critical legitimacy factor --
The fallacy of "nation-building" --
The future of Afghanistan by year from 2015 to 2019 --
Part III. The strategic lessons unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Impediments to strategic judgment --
Guidelines for future wars --
Conclusions.
Other Titles: Why the Afghan National Security Forces will not hold, and the implications for the United States Army in Afghanistan
Responsibility: M. Chris Mason.

Abstract:

"The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were lost before they began, not on the battlefields, where the United States won every tactical engagement, but at the strategic level of war. In each case, the U.S. Government attempted to create a Western-style democracy in countries which were decades at least away from being nations with the sociopolitical capital necessary to sustain democracy and, most importantly, accept it as a legitimate source of governance. The expensive indigenous armies created in the image of the U.S. Army lacked both the motivation to fight for illegitimate governments in Saigon, Baghdad, and Kabul and a cause that they believed was worth dying for, while their enemies in the field clearly did not. This book examines the Afghan National Security Forces in historical and political contexts, explains why they will fail at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war, why they cannot and will not succeed in holding the southern half of the country, and what will happen in Afghanistan year-by-year from 2015 to 2019. Finally, it examines what the critical lessons unlearned of these conflicts are for U.S. military leaders, why these fundamental political lessons seem to remain unlearned, and how the strategic mistakes of the past can be avoided in the future"--Publisher's web site.

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