Journal article

What did we learn from the war in Afghanistan?

24 Jul 2014
Description

This article argues that Australia’s military commitment to Afghanistan, while successful, suffered from a limited strategic vision that descended into restrictive campaign plans and ultimately a confusing and conflicting tactical application of the ADF’s own counterinsurgency doctrine.

Abstract

After 12 years of conflict, it is not surprising that many are beginning to ask what Australia has achieved in Afghanistan and whether Australians have really made a difference. The latter question is less pertinent for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as, what happens in the years to come is largely a matter for the population of Afghanistan. What should concern the ADF however, is what it can learn from its longest war and its most dynamic foe. This article seeks to build on James Brown’s commentary for The Age of the same title. The analysis presented is supported by research and personal experience and seeks to encourage debate on the manner in which the ADF conducts such operations. The ultimate conclusion is that Australia’s commitment, while successful, suffered from a limited strategic vision that descended into restrictive campaign plans and ultimately a confusing and conflicting tactical application of the ADF’s own counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2014
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