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Lessons Learned

Listed below are links to publications, papers, and websites that provide Lessons Learned (LL) of the Afghan War. Some lessons are observed, but not learned - I have included those as well. These are listed in chronological order, with most recent date at top.

(see Afghan War Assessments for additional info)


January 15, 2020. U.S. Lessons Learned in Afghanistan, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), 48 pages, PDF. Record of testimony (prepared statement) by the head of SIGAR, John F. Sopko, before the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives.


September 2019. Reintegration of Ex-Combatants: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGER), 154-pages.


May 24, 2018. "SIGAR Stabilization Lessons Learned Report on Afghanistan 2018", SOF News.


September 2016, Conference Report: Lessons from the Coalition - International Experiences from the Afghanistan Reconstruction. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, SIGAR. This report is drawn from observations from a conference held in Washington, D.C. in April 19-20, 2016, 24 pages.

September 2016, Corruption in Conflict: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), 164 pages.

May 24, 2016. State Strengthening in Afghanistan: Lessons Learned, 2001-2014, by Scott Smith and Colin Cookman, editors, United States Institute of Peace.

February 15, 2016. "Afghanistan: Lessons Learned for the 2016 Fighting Season", by Shawn Snow, The Diplomat.

February 11, 2016. "Stability Operations: Lessons from Afghanistan", Small Wars Journal, by Charles Barham.

January 14, 2016. "Learning From Our Mistakes in Selection and Training of Military Advisors", SOFREP. The key to good advisor efforts and teams is proper selection of personnel and relevant pre-deployment training.


September 2015. Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War, edited by Richard D. Hooker, Jr. and Joseph J. Collins, National Defense University Press, Washington, D.C. Lessons observed during the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Book is a PDF and free for downloading at the link below.

June 25, 2015. The Strategic Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Why the Afghan National Security Forces Will Not Hold, and the Implications for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, United States Army War College Press. . . . CDR-1363.pdf

June 1, 2015. "Corps blocks public access to newsletters on lessons learned". Marine Corps Times. The USMC's self-improvement organization is now hiding its reports behind the Common Access Card system.

April 24, 2015. "Top Ten Positive and Negative Outcomes from the Afghanistan War", Peace Stability Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, PKSOI. . . ..pdf

March 23, 2015. "Learning Lessons: Capturing and Institutionalizing Lessons from Complex Stabiiization Efforts, Special Inspector General (SIGAR), 16 pages.

January 2, 2015. "What Are the Real Lessons of the Afghanistan War?", World Politics Review. Steve Metz of the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute.


November-December 2014. "What Lessons Did We Learn (or Re-Learn) About Military Advising After 9/11?", Military Review, by Lt. Col. Remi, U.S. Army, pages 63-75.

November 18, 2014. "Winning Battles, Losing Wars", Army Magazine, by Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik, U.S. Army retired.

November 4, 2014. "How the Limited Use of Lessons Learned Failed to Form a Cohesive Strategy in Operation Enduring Freedom", Small Wars Journal, November 4, 2014, by Joel Lawton.

October 2014. Improving Strategic Competence: Lessons from 13 Years of War, RAND Corporation.

October 16, 2014. 7 Lessons from 13 Years of War, The RAND Blog, by Linda Robinson.

January 2014. "Afghanistan Post 2014 - Lessons Learned and What to Expect", Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 1, Atlantic Treaty Association.


Fall 2013. "A War Examined: Afghanistan", Parmeters, by Todd R. Greentree, 43(3) Autumn 2013, pages 87-97. Posted on Strategic Studies Institute website. . . .Greentree.pdf


July 19, 2012. U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan: Five Lessons We Should Have Learned", by Joshua Foust, American Security Project.

June 6, 2012. "The Platoon Leader's Fight: Lessons from Maiwand", by Alexander Frank, Small Wars Journal. A 1LT (Inf) serving in the 2n Cavalry Regiment provides his AAR on his role as a Platoon Leader and Governance / Development coordinator.


Ostlund, William. "Tactical Leader Lessons Learned in Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Freedom VIII", Military Review, July-August, 2009. Lessons Learned by 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment from 11 months of train-up and 15 months of combat operations in Afghanistan. . . . art004.pdf


U.S. Army, Army Lessons Learned Program (ALLP), Army Regulation 11-33, 17 October 2006.



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