Russia in Afghanistan and Chechnya: Military Strategic Culture and the Paradoxes of Asymmetric Conflict

  • February 01, 2003
  • Major Robert M Cassidy

The author uses a detailed assessment of the Russian experience in Afghanistan and Chechnya to draw important conclusions about asymmetric warfare. He then uses this to provide recommendations for the U.S. military, particularly the Army. Major Cassidy points out that small wars are difficult for every great power, yet are the most common kind. Even in this era of asymmetry, the U.S. Army exhibits a cultural preference for the "big war" paradigm. He suggests that the U.S. military in general, including the Army, needs a cultural transformation to master the challenge of asymmetry fully. From this will grow doctrine and organizational change.