The weight of the past(s) : the impact of the Bundeswehr's use of historical experience on strategy-making in Afghanistan
Title: The weight of the past(s) : the impact of the Bundeswehr's use of historical experience on strategy-making in Afghanistan
Author: SANGAR, Eric
Citation: Journal of strategic studies, 2015, Vol. 38, No.4, pp. 411-444
ISSN: 0140-2390; 1743-937X
This article seeks to explain the basic dynamics of the development of the German military approach in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2010 by looking at the impact of the Bundeswehr's established uses of historical experience. First, the German military approach in Afghanistan has slowly evolved from a peacebuilding and mediation mission towards a full-fledged combat deployment. Second, the Bundeswehr's exclusive focus on the World War II experience has contributed to the emergence of the Balkans experience as a formative experience that shaped initial operational thinking in Afghanistan. Third, because a thorough debate on the historical foundation of counterinsurgency remained absent, the operational shift in 2009 was perceived as a return to ‘classical’ military tasks and thus led to an almost exclusive focus on training for combat.
Published online: 21 June 2013
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