Historical lessons that Russians could not learn

A man throwing a Molotov cocktail.

A man throwing a Molotov cocktail. Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock

It seems that you have seen the Russian-Ukraine War before. It’s just a story of a seemingly good power army invading a clearly weak and vulnerable nation, suffering from irregular tactics and intense nationalism on the part of the defenders. “Russians were not ready for an unconventional war,” said Rob Li, a senior researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute. Washington post, “They don’t know how to deal with this rebellion, a guerrilla warfare situation,” he added.

If so, Russian leaders have a short memory.

they should do it Soviet Union War of fate Against Afghanistan, it ended in 1989 after a decade of brutal battles with rebels.They didn’t see that Just a few months ago When the United States left Afghanistan, was it restored by exactly the same dynamics? No one is paying attention??

There are some speculations that Russian President Vladimir Putin has learned exactly the wrong lessons from these defeats. “I think he thought he would roll into Kyiv, just as the Taliban rolled into Kabul,” said editor Zoya Chef Talovich. Politico European version, Written in February.. “I thought ordinary Ukrainians wouldn’t resist. No bloodshed. It’s clean.” Or maybe Putin I became overconfident Due to the bloody devastation of his own country’s opposition in Syria.

But if any of these theories reflect Putin’s thinking, it is clear that he misunderstood both events. Russian leaders may have thought that they were regaining part of their country by invading Ukraine, like the Taliban, but it is clear that Ukrainians do not.And while the Russians were dominant in Syria, they had the advantage of allied with the government. Before their involvement.. Ukrainians, on the other hand, are most often united against the invaders.

However, it seems to be true that the Great Heathen Army organizes an army for the Battle of the Great Heathen Army. Guerrilla warfare does not affect either their strengths or preferences. “On the other hand, great powers essentially bring overwhelmingly superior resources and technology to this type of conflict.”Major Robert M. Cassidy I wrote in a 2002 journal article, Why big powers fight small wars so badly.. “On the other hand, seemingly inferior opponents generally show good will, accept higher costs, and are willing to endure many probabilities.”

It’s a historical lesson — as Cassidy pointed out, dating back to the Roman Empire.It is also rooted in a living experience: in modern times, the United States Ignored experience Just to get the crash course of the counterinsurgency of the French in Vietnam, and soon Forgot everything And have to Learn it everywhere Again in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This all means that the war in Russia, like most wars, is a failure of historical memory.More embarrassing for Putin and his companions: it’s recently history. And if that history is a guide, we will soon forget that lesson.

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