Frederick Kagan

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Frederick A. Kagan is a military historian, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the Strategic Assessments Group to GEN Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan. He was previously a professor of history at the United States Military Academy and involved in planning the "Surge" in the Iraq War He is the son of Donald Kagan and brother of Robert Kagan, prominent neoconservatives, and the spouse of Kimberly Kagan.

In an August 2009 article, he compared the Soviet and American experiences in Afghanistan. A key observation was that "there is absolutely no basis for assessing that an increased ISAF/US military presence along the lines being considered will result in some kind of 'tipping point' at which local Afghans turn against us because they see us as a Soviet-style occupation force." Instead, he said that insurgency in Afghanistan comes internal problems related to the collapse of Afghan society, triggered by the social reforms of the pro-Communist Saur government in 1978, before Soviet troops entered. He also observed that for ideological reasons, the Soviets had no counterinsurgency doctrine and had a force especially ill-equipped and trained for the conditions in Afghanistan. [1]


  • Ph.D., Russian and Soviet military history, Yale University
  • B.A., Soviet and East European studies, Yale University
  1. Frederick W. Kagan (21 August 2009), "We're Not the Soviets in Afghanistan, And 2009 Isn't 1979", The Daily Standard