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Afghanistan: The Soviet Union's Last War Paperback – Sep 30 2001
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From the Back Cover
The last war of the Soviet superpower was played out against the backdrop of dramatic change within the USSR. This study is the first to adopt a broad perspective to identify the impact and implications of the Afghan war on Russian politics and society. It draws extensively upon official and unofficial sources, as well as the afganets veterans themselves, to illustrate the way the war fed into a wide range of other processes, from the retreat from globalism in foreign policy to the rise of grassroots political activism. The central thesis of the book is that the war must be seen in the context of the fall of the USSR and the rise of the new Russia. It did not bury Brezhnevism and then Gorbachevism, though it certainly helped. But the experience of Afghanistan played its part in the evolution of post-Soviet Russia's foreign and security policies. When Boris Yeltsin appointed his first defence minister he picked an afganets, and the 1993 Military Doctrine called on the lessons of Afghanistan in quelling unrest within and on Russia's borders. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mark Galeotti provides a more historical and wider view of the war. He discusses the Soviet Union's involvement in the war and its effects on that country. He particularly addresses the argument that the war in Afghanistan was central to the fall of the Soviet Union. In pursuing this argument, a detailed and compelling analysis of the effects of the war upon the Soviet Union is provided.
The major problem with the book is that at times it feels spotty. Galeotti sometimes exhaustively focuses on issues that are tangential to his argument, such as the role of Afghan veterans in Soviet/Russian society, while providing only adequate amounts of detail on the actual war in Afghanistan. The overall history of military operations is covered very briefly. In particular, analysis of military effectiveness focuses almost entirely on tactics and does not attempt a detailed appraisal of flaws/strengths in Soviet strategy.
Nevertheless, this is a very strong book and certainly vital reading for understanding the importance of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
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