We still have a lot to learn from the experience of the Red Army. In the wake of the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army and Air Force both faced crises that felt existential, and resolved them in part through creative interpretation of tradition. To be sure, no military organization in U.S. history has ever gone through quite the same cycle of destruction and rebirth as the Red Army, but even in the past decade the United States has struggled with the problem of rebuilding the armies of partners such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, a greater appreciation of how the Red Army managed to preserve the military traditions of czarist Russia, despite the inferno of the Revolution, might have offered some insight into the struggles of both the Iraqi National Army and the Afghan National Army to connect with local populations.
Robert Farley, a frequent contributor to TNI, is author of The Battleship Book. He serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. His work includes military doctrine, national security, and maritime affairs. He blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money and Information Dissemination and The Diplomat.