Intelligence: The Secrets of the Chechen Street Fighter


March 28, 2006: When American troops found themselves fighting Iraqi terrorists in towns and cities, pundits predicted that Americans would suffer the same dismal fate of the Russian army, which got beat up real bad by Chechen irregulars in the 1994-6. But there was no replay of the Russian disaster in Iraq. The Americans proved very effective at street fighting. And one of the reasons was the U.S. Marine Corps project to interview Chechens who had fought the Russians in the early 1990s. The marines conducted their interviews in 1998, and modified their urban combat tactics to deal with the Chechen methods that had tripped up the Russians so badly. The U.S. Army also got in on this, with the result that, even though the Iraqis tried to use some of the Chechen tactics, they quickly found out that the Americans were not reacting like the Russians.

In 1994, the major problem the Russians had was not the clever tactics of the Chechens, but that the Russian troops were poorly trained and led. That was not the case with U.S. forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. But the Chechen tactics were well thought out, and implemented skillfully, and to great effect. The Chechens were more efficient, and led, than most Iraqis U.S. forces encountered. In fact, Chechens have served as mercenaries for Middle Eastern leaders for centuries. American troops have encountered Chechen fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and killed them.


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close