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A Brief History of the Military Advising Mission

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A Brief History of the Military Advising Mission

John Dreyer


The military advisor is a brief footnote in military history. The advisor represents the tip of the spear for a state’s foreign policy, often allowing entry for business and other economic interests. In a strict military sense, advisors train, offer advice and bring norms to developing militaries, often in small developing states. Don Stocker identifies six categories for advising missions. The first is a tool of modernization. The second is a tool of nation building. Third is taking the lead for further economic penetration. Fourthly is as an ideological tool. The fifth is for counterinsurgency use and training. Finally, is category of mercenaries and later, corporations who contract out for profit.[i] Even when categorizing the advisor’s mission, the net is cast wide. In many cases the advisor is operating in either a very small group or alone and is tasked with a wider mission set than originally given. This article seeks to discuss the advisory mission in historical terms as well as the future mission of the US Army’s Security Assistance Force Brigade and how institutionalizing the advisory mission is an important and long overdue step.

Advising in the past 200 years has been both business and foreign policy. In the 18th century French and British soldiers were seconded to various native tribes in the Americas to provide some oversight during the French and Indian War and, later, the American Revolution. Of course, the actions of Baron von Steuben at Valley Forge played a vital role in instilling professionalism in the nascent Continental Regulars.  From a business perspective many small states hired soldiers to assist in modernizing and developing their military. In the early part of the 19th century it was in vogue to hire French advisors. However, the ascendance of Prussia and, later, Germany gave rise to the phenomenon of German advisors. Germans in the second half of the 19th century peddled Prussian organization and the Clausewitz way of war to states such as Japan and Argentina. The Germans often would turn up on both sides of the conflict, such as the tensions between Argentina and Chile’ in the late 19th century where German officers were present on both sides. For South American states in the late 19th century German officers provided the knowledge base for the creation of a school system, logistics network and the modernization of the military in general. In addition, German missions made significant inroads for the German weapons industry, creating a series of new markets for firms such as Krupp.

The Germans

Prior to the First World War, German missions were best described as “semi-official”. By exporting the German military system, the economic benefits of weapons sales could piggyback on the success of these missions. Most officers were contractors and were paid by the host country. The loss of 1918 did little to diminish the star that many developing states saw in the German system. While Germany was not officially allowed to send any officers abroad, many newly unemployed officers accepted employment as contractors with states such as Nationalist China, Afghanistan, Bolivia and Argentina. These “independent contractors” still offered inroads for German industry but to all official inquires they had no relations with the Weimar Republic.

Two examples of this are Hans Kundt in Bolivia in the 1920s and 30s and Max Bauer in Nationalist China during the same time. Both officers were less contractors and more full-time officials with their host organizations. Kundt had participated in modernizing the Bolivian army prior to the First World War. After his service on the eastern front, Kundt returned to Bolivia in 1920, received citizenship and eventually rose to command the Bolivian Army in the 1932 Chaco War. After a series of devastating defeats, Kundt was fired and left for Germany in 1933.

Max Bauer also dabbled in host state politics, in this case with Chaing Kai-Shek’s Nationalist China. Bauer was less a combat officer and more of an organizer and logistics man who spent the war balancing the demands of the army with munitions and equipment from Germany. He was also a very right wing political player and actively played a role in policy for wartime Germany that caused him as much grief as it did success. After the war his participation in an abortive putsch against the new Government led to his expulsion and subsequent travel to Hong Kong to meet with representatives of Chaing’s Kuomintang (KMG) government. Bauer played a vital role in modernizing China and solidifying Chaing’s government. Importantly he not only acted in a military capacity but also in using existing contacts in Germany to connect important industry with Chinese needs. Bauer also assisted in the construction of a school system designed to train up a model infantry division that could pass its lessons onto the rest of the Nationalist Army. Unlike Kundt, Bauer’s advising was ended with the contraction of smallpox and his death in 1929. Unable to see any fruition to his plans, as John Fox points out, Bauer’s primary legacy was the conception and planning of the route for Chinese modernization.

Kundt and Buaer represent the impact that a dedicated individual can have if handed a positon of trust within a host nation. Both officers were well-liked by many of the host state leaders, Bauer in particular, and this gave them access to power they would not normally have wielded as a state sponsored mission. This gave them the unprecedented ability to shape military, and to a lesser extent, security policy into whatever mold they wished. The Bolivian and Chinese Nationalist armies adapted numerous German attributes, the most easily identifiable was the use of uniforms and helmets that gave both armies a very Germanic look. With few restrictions and the ability to play politics many individual German advisors made deep inroads into many states. With them they brought economic contacts, modernization and a German sense of organization for logistics and training. Most of all they often played to a very receptive audience that was more than happy to take their counsel.

The German experience is unlike the post-Cold War advisory experience for the superpowers. After the end of the Second World War and the advent of the Truman Doctrine American advising missions became a new norm of exercising foreign policy goals. Later the Soviet Union began the use of advisors as a tool to nominally bring the revolution to post-colonial states. Advisory missions became an official state mission, designed to assist and spread the norms practiced by each. Advisors became another element in the proxy wars fought by the Soviets and the Americans.  Each side had distinct differences in how they approached the mission and these methods did make an impact on the overall success or failure of the mission.

KMAG and the Building of the ROK

The most successful long-term American advising effort was the Korean Military Advisory Group, or KMAG. KMAG’s creation in 1948 was rooted in providing a Korean constabulary to back the new police force in the newly created Republic of Korea[ii]. The mission KMAG was tasked with complicated by two factors. First was the general chaos of a newly created state from the ashes of the decades long Japanese occupation. Second was the demobilization of the US Army in the years directly following the end of the Second World War.  The aftermath of the war saw the ROK dealing with communist guerilla activity in the countryside in addition to simply establishing its authority in areas that might resist it. The creation of a constabulary was regarded as a stepping stone for a full time Army. The rapid demobilization of the US Army proved to be a road block as capable officers were released from service, thereby disrupting the advising mission.

The early days of the KMAG mission were performed without any institutional background; the organization in so many words winged it. This “wild west” approach depended on the innovation and relationship the newly created Korean units foraged with their American advisors. Advisors worked closely with their host units up to and including in combat situations.  Creating the Korean Army proved difficult at times. The use of various military terminology was often beyond the scope of the language. Terms such as “machine gun” and “headlight” did not really exist, so they had to be improvised. Weapons, too, proved a problem. At first many Korean units were armed with Japanese arms leftover from the occupation. While this gave at least some weapons to the newly created forces it also created a logistics problem through a restriction of ammunition supply and the need to ensure certain units had the correct ammunition.[iii]

As more American support poured in the Korean Army continued to gain experience in waging a campaign against communist backed guerillas. Fearful that Seoul would attempt to invade the North, American arms were limited to defensive weapons only, including small arms, limited artillery, armored cars and P-51 Mustang fighters. While arms came in and advisors did their job two factors limited the Army’s growth in the months preceding the North’s invasion. First were manpower limitations, with eight divisions only one, the Capital Division, was anywhere near full strength. The second issue was the proficiency level of the ROK Army by June, 1949. KMAG advisors believed that the Korean Army was much like the American Army of 1775: save for the intense national pride there was little to recommend them as an Army.[iv] Few units had any additional training beyond the basic course by late 1949. Instead most ROK battalions were engaged in either fighting guerilla units or pacifying other areas of the country.

The Korean conflict was a curse and a blessing for KMAG and their advisees. The invasion in June, 1950 swept aside most of the ROK army. The Army had been focused on internal guerilla action, not full-scale warfare with a foe ready for combined arms warfare. KMAG advisors stuck by their units and played a vital role in rebuilding and expanding the army in the time of war. Often cut off from their own supply, advisors lived, worked and ate with their host unit to get them trained up. Individual initiative played an incredible role in getting units ready for combat in the short time they often were allotted to train in. The war was the catalyst that made the ROK Army an effective fighting force, with KMAG assistance playing a major part in keeping the force intact and providing a foundation for growth as the war continued.

The Soviets in Africa

Soviet foreign policy saw advisors as a means of spreading revolution and scientific socialism to the post-colonial world. From a more practical standpoint, Soviet advisors acted in roles that sought to ensure that aid and support was used to further Soviet foreign policy goals in regions where the US or US allies sought dominance.  Soviet advisors operated much differently that Western advising teams for a number of different reasons. First, and most importantly, is the creeping terror of the Soviet system and the impact it has on all aspects of Soviet security policy. The Soviet system demands success at any cost and has played a remarkable role in ensuring that Soviet policies and projects are often completed in a manner that is less than perfect. The need for success at all costs played a part in the Chernobyl disaster where materials for the fire-resistant ceiling were never installed because it would have negatively impacted the construction timeline and the careers of the project leaders.  The emphasis on career success over successful completion played a role in the effectiveness of Soviet advising missions. The second reason Soviet missions operated on a different plane was the willingness to use regular Soviet ground forces to accomplish missions. Often these ground forces were supplemented by Cuban Army forces numbering in the tens of thousands.

The Soviet experience in Africa is a much more typical story than the mission in Afghanistan in the 1980s. In the late 1960s much of the attention of the cold war began to focus on Southern Africa and particularly Angola. Angola represented a major shift in Soviet policy towards Africa and in order to support the Marxist elements of the rapidly developing civil war the USSR would eventually dedicate massive amounts of military aid and 176 advisors.[v] In addition to the Soviet presence, Cuba sent nearly 11,000 troops, a continuation of a policy designed to assist liberation movements throughout Africa.

Eventually Soviet aid to Angola, until 1991, would add up to some 10,985 advisors, with over 7,000 of that number being officers.[vi] From 1975 to roughly 1988 South Africa waged a series of border conflicts designed to support UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) against the Soviet backed MPLA (People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola). South Africa was making a push for regional power and the extensive Soviet and Cuban presence in the area was partially preventing this. The region quickly, after 1975, became a proxy battleground with the Americans backing South Africa and the Soviets backing leftist groups throughout the region. The border war ended with the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale that took place between August 1987 and March 1988. Cuito Cuanavale was the largest engagement of troops in southern Africa since the end of the Second World War. It was here that the Soviet and Cuban advisors proved their worth against the South African Defense Force and the UNITA forces for control of Angola and the region.[vii]

The Cuban/Soviet effort in Angola mirrored other advising missions on the continent, the Cubans provided troop numbers to undertake more difficult operations while the Soviets provided technical advice and leadership to local forces. After independence in 1975 Soviet advisors numbered around 400.[viii] Once arrived the Soviets sought to take control of the airlift that provided the MPLA with their equipment, including an attempt to secure the airfield where the transports would land; this was denied by the Angolans. In addition, the late 1970s saw nearly 15,000 Cuban troops enter as well, mostly to provide trained soldiery for various pieces of Soviet equipment.[ix] The initial draft of Soviet advisors wore unadorned Cuban uniforms and lived in relative luxury as they began to undertake their assignments.[x] Like other advisory missions most of the contingent was composed of officers, from junior to Lieutenant-General, the overall advisory commander.

The Cuban chain of command was much more conventional seeing as how it was supplying ground troops to undertake the heavy lifting in combat. This came in the form of Soviet tanks, armored personal carriers, MiG 17 and 21 fighters and, most important of all, anti-aircraft guns and missiles.[xi] This equipment dump was a direct response to South Africa’s military intervention in southern Angola. Until the Soviets gave this equipment in bulk, South Africa had had a free hand in running bombing and interdiction missions. In 1981 the Soviets made the decision to set up an anti-aircraft network near the Angolan city of Lubango, in the south. They spent ten days siting and arranging the firing arcs of the launchers, so they could see air attacks coming in over the mountains that dominated the area. After these were situated, Cuban troops came in and assumed manning and control of the batteries, completely cutting out the FAPLA and MPLA troops. Later, during the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1987-88 one advisor noted that the Angolans could not operate the AAA system competently, even with training. This lack of training saw Soviets and Cubans filling the operator roles with notable success against the SADF Air Forces.

Actual advising was carried out by some Soviets. Vyacheslave Aleksandrovich Mityaev, for example, was sent to Angola in 1986 to train and work with FAPLA reconnaissance units. Mityaev noted that he at times struggled to teach the recon men basic ideas of care and maintenance for equipment. Only the trusty AKMs performed without regular care; most other equipment, such as the night vision scopes, soon failed because of neglect and the humid environment.[xii] Another advisor sought to train the Angolans in basic tactics but was repeatedly frustrated by their marksmanship. Indeed, many thought their AK rifles were defective until a Soviet officer would fire it on the mark. He goes on to note that they fired in a “guerilla” fashion; from the hip and pouring as much ammunition as possible in the general direction of the enemy.[xiii] This was, it was noted, the main reason FAPLA had issues capturing enemy bases, because they would run out of ammunition before they could successfully overrun any positions.

The Soviet mission in Angola ended with the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in a running battle that lasted from August of 1987 to March of 1988. The Cubans were once more in full force through the provision of air power against the South Africans. The South African Defense Force (SADF) inflicted major losses on the Angolans throughout the latter half of 1987. The Soviet advisors were often on their own with minimal local protection, at one point sabotaging their APC in order to extract themselves by foot after the destruction of the FAPLA 47th Brigade on October 14, 1987.[xiv] The battle went back and forth for months until the SADF came to the conclusion that it was little more than a stalemate. The presence of nearly 25,000 Cubans, and their equipment, made victory impossible. This ultimately brought the conflict to an end.

The Soviet experience in Angola is typical of advisory missions elsewhere. Local forces were not really trusted to undertake operations without some sort of back up to do the heavy lifting, in this case Cuba supplied these forces and lost nearly 15,000 troops because of it. What the local forces could not accomplish, Cuban and Soviet officers and senior enlisted did for them. There was a streak of racism as well in Igor Zhdarkin’s account he notes how much respect he had for the SADF and the Cubans and acknowledged that the “whites” performed better than the “blacks”.[xv] But while this racism is present it does not account for the problems faced by Soviet advisors in bringing their charges up to a Soviet standard of training and competence. The Soviets saw their position as a job and did not let their personal feelings of race interfere with the ability to get the job done, only the ability of their charges to do so.[xvi]

One of the highlights that the accounts reveal is the need for Soviet advisors to learn the language, Portuguese. This was crucial to developing the personal relationships they noted that were essential to their jobs. The Cubans were regarded very highly and had an excellent working relationship with the Angolans and Soviets. The language barrier was far less for Cuban troops because of the similarities of Spanish and Portuguese. As noted elsewhere the personal relationship between an advisor and their local counterpart often paid far higher dividends. 

ETTs and ANAs: America in Afghanistan

The American experience in Afghanistan mirrors previous advising missions in many ways. The construction of a school system and the building of an Army and Police Force from the remains of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan forces and fighters from the Northern Alliance looked like the experience with KMAG in the late 1940s. However significant challenges appeared that served to hamper the American effort that often mirrored the Soviet experience and was different from the KMAG experience. First was the religious tensions and Islamist nature of the conflict. Second was the utter lack of the nationalism that ran through the ROK forces. These two forces combined to make the advising experience more difficult and less effective.

Embedded training teams are the backbone of the advising mission in Afghanistan. While other ISAF forces used different terms, the idea was the same: a team of soldiers who were assigned to an ANA or ANP unit to train and advise.[xvii] ETTs were used down to company level and generally lived in separate compounds on ANA or ANP bases.  In the early days of the advising effort many ETTs where paired with Special Forces advising teams which were already providing local training and preparation for Afghan forces. Much like KMAG before 1950, the still developing ANA infrastructure had major issues with supply and logistics. This led to major issues with ANA bases. The Kabul Military Training Center, for example, had poor sanitary conditions and no heat in the barracks as winter approached.[xviii] These issues were often slow to be resolved and many of the early Special Forces groups sought to show a form of solidarity with their Afghan counterparts until certain issues could be resolved.

Training was a constant issue for soldiers manning the ETTs. Pre-deployment training prior to 2008 was not regarded as comprehensive. Labeled as short and totally inadequate it also provided little in the way of useful cultural information and, like the Soviets 20 years before, often gave basic language instruction in the wrong dialect, such as 40 hours of training for Dari when the dialect needed was Pashtu.[xix] Another issue was that advisors often were not informed of their area of operations until they arrived in country; this made preparation for a specific area even more difficult. One of the biggest issue faced by advisers was the assumption that advising with Iraqi forces and the ANA were similar, despite an enormous gulf between the two theaters.[xx] After the start of the Operation Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan was generally regulated to a second tier. Many of the regular Army troops went to Iraq while the ETTs in Afghanistan were manned by various National Guard Units. Many interviewees in Eyewitness to War note that once they arrived at their operational area they were "on" with little time to adjust and gauge the area. Relief in Place, or RIP, varied from as little as a day or two to three weeks. Again, there was little standardization.   A number of the interviewed advisors in Eyewitness to War Volume III: US Army Advisors in Afghanistan believe that Afghanistan was a secondary show to Iraq which resulted in lowers levels of attention to the war and a resulting series of issues that are still developing.

Language and interpreters have proven to be a major factor in how advisors performed their jobs. The need for a personal relationship is often hampered by the ability to communicate effectively.  Interpreters are generally contracted through a civilian company and, like any job, some being excellent, and some barely adequate. Most ETTs had fewer than five interpreters with many just having one. They would have to travel to Kabul once a month to get paid as well, a journey that may well take a week.[xxi]  Most ETTs were able to share resources with local Special Forces groups in this regard. The need to overcome the language barrier would often be less of a problem depending on the relationship formed by members of the ETT and their Afghan counterpart. Some managed to develop a relationship based on drawings in the sand and sign language. Again, this points to the importance of a personal relationship and just how much importance it can have on the mission of an ETT. The dispersal of norms seemingly operated best on a one-to-one basis and, as in KMAG, the establishment of a close relationship was essential for the advisor to do their job.

Funding for the advising mission was never enough, as was US funding of the ANA and the ANP. From 2002-2006 the ANA funding only was increased from 86 million US dollars to about 736 million US dollars.[xxii] While this seems like a large increase the four years it covers saw a massive increase in the size of the ANA, not to mention a US desire for the Afghans to begin undertaking independent operations as soon as possible. In 2007 funding jumped to 4.7 billion US dollars, a massive hike that reflected a desire to continue expanding the ANA to nearly 100,000 troops to combat the still growing and ever popular Taliban. In the years since 2007 finding has been cut significantly back to 2004-2005 levels of around 700 million US dollars. On the operational level these numbers, especially pre-2007, translate to equipment shortages, poor housing conditions and a lack of ground transport for the ANA and their attached ETTs.[xxiii] ETTs were especially hampered by the lack of US support and often had to beg, scrounge or borrow what they needed from whichever neighboring unit or command they could find. For example, one advisor how his ANA unit was well equipped with small arms but lacked effective load bearing equipment to carry ammunition and armor. In addition, communication was poor because of a lack of radios leading this advisor to have his spouse send commercial Motorolas from the US.[xxiv] Another problem he notes in his interview is footwear that was totally unsuited for the operations they were conducting. Footwear has always been the bane of the infantryman and the ANA was no exception to this rule. Funding issues played a definitive part in the challenges to advisors and ETTs.

The on-going advising mission in Afghanistan is hampered by a clear strategic vision for the goal of American assistance. The most important lesson that can be derived from the US in Afghanistan is that the lack of a centrally coordinated organization to control all the in-country ETTs. Further, the deficiencies in training impacted the ETTs, at least at the start of the deployment. The lack of an institutional knowledge base to assist advisors in their mission is also an element that needs to be addressed. Much documentation has been produced regarded successes and failures in how advisors approached their jobs and what elements are most critical for completion of the mission.   

The lack of a clear strategic vision is perhaps the most visible roadblock to the success of the American advising mission. The US commitment to Afghanistan for the indefinite future makes the creation and sustainment of the advising mission a vital mission. The army, for its part, has recognized some of the issues with the ETTs and the advising mission in general and has attempted to find a fix with the creation of the Security Force Assistance Brigades. The SFABs are designed as cadre units with officers and senior non-commissioned officers that deploy from a central location. At the same time the brigades will hopefully serve as a source of institutional knowledge for the advising mission, no matter the location.


The history of military advising missions is long and full off success and failure. A few important lessons can be distilled from the history. First is the necessity of the individual touch. Effective advising is a distinctly individual activity that requires the ability to connect to advisees in host countries. Throughout the history of advising the ability to overcome culture, language and other factors has depended on a solid personal relationship between soldiers. A second factor is the KMAG proclamation of “Advisors do not command…. they ADVISE!” in the pre-1950 KMAG Advisor’s handbook[xxv]. The Soviets rarely did this and actively commanded their advisees to ensure personal and political success. This approach contributed to the relative failure of Soviet policy because they did not train their local forces to a level required to use Soviet military aid.  Western advisors, particularly Americans, generally focus on training to produce a force able to act independently. This approach can often fail because of the ability of host state forces to adapt and internalize their new methods and doctrine.

Advising is a duty that has few set factors in what makes success or failure. Above all, effective advisors need to know what has worked in the past though there is little guarantee that past methods will work on future missions.  Advisors need to be able to improvise to drive towards a successful mission. This is not to say that sending undertrained advisors is acceptable. Indeed, advisors need a solid bedrock of training with language, culture and history of their host states. Additionally, having an institutional base of lessons learned specially for advising missions is critical. The newly created Army Security Force Assistance Brigades is a very solid start to address these issues. If these new units are to be successful they need to build on the history and lessons of their predecessors from Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, South America and many others.    

End Notes

[i] Donald J. Stoker. The History and Evolution of Foreign Military Advising and Assistance, 1815-2007. In Military Advising and Assistance: From Mercenaries to Privatization, 1815-2007. London: Routledge, 2008.

[ii] Robert K. Sawyer Military Advisors in Korea: KMAG in Peace and War. Army Historical Series, Washington D. C., Center for Military History, 1988

[iii] The Japanese used both 7.7mm and 6.5mm in their small arms, an example of the logistics problems the ROK Army faced.

[iv] Sawyer, Robert K. Military Advisors in Korea: KMAG in War and Peace. Army Historical Series, Center for Military History, Washington DC, 1962. p, 69y

[v] Christopher Stevens. “The Soviet Union and Angola.” African Affairs, 75, no. 299 (1976), 137-151. P. 144

[vi] Vladimir Shubin and Andrei Tokarev. “War in Angola: A Soviet Dimension.” Review of African Political Economy 28, no. 90 (2001), 607-618, p. 614.

[vii] Vladimir Shubin and Andrei Tokarev. “War in Angola: A Soviet Dimension.” P. 615

[viii] Porter, Bruce D. The USSR in Third World Conflict: Soviet Arms and Diplomacy in Local Wars 1945-1980. Cambridge University Press, 1986. P. 164-165

[ix] Porter, Bruce D. The USSR in Third World Conflicts: Soviet Arms and Diplomacy in Local Wars 1945-1980. Cambridge University Press, 1986. P. 168

[x] Gennadiĭ Vladimirovich Shubin and  Andreĭ Aleksandrovich Tokarev. Bush War: The Road to Cuito Cuanavale : Soviet Soldiers' Accounts of the Angolan War. Jacana Media, 2011. P. 12

[xi] Gennadiĭ Vladimirovich Shubin and  Andreĭ Aleksandrovich Tokarev. Bush War: The Road to Cuito Cuanavale : Soviet Soldiers' Accounts of the Angolan War, p. 17-19

[xii] Gennadiĭ Vladimirovich Shubin and  Andreĭ Aleksandrovich Tokarev. Bush War: The Road to Cuito Cuanavale : Soviet Soldiers' Accounts of the Angolan War, p. 25

[xiii] Gennadiĭ Vladimirovich Shubin and  Andreĭ Aleksandrovich Tokarev. Bush War: The Road to Cuito Cuanavale : Soviet Soldiers' Accounts of the Angolan War p. 15

[xiv] Igor Anatolevich Zhdarkin, We Did Not See It Even In Afghanistan: Memoirs Of A Participant Of The Angolan War (1986-1988). eBook Format ( 2001 P. 5

[xv] Igor Anatolevich Zhdarkin, We Did Not See It Even In Afghanistan: Memoirs Of A Participant Of The Angolan War (1986-1988). P. 70

[xvi] Concepts of Russian and Slavic superiority were an important part of the Soviet system. Generally promotion, rewards, and important positions were geared toward Russians to the exclusion of other nationalities in the USSR. These is little evidence that this attitude was widespread during Soviet missions to other states during the Cold War. If the local forces could not accomplish a task, the advisors would simply do it themselves; this attitude ensured success and promotion back home and deployed. 

[xvii] British teams, for example, were labeled "Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams", or OMLTs. 

[xviii] Interview with Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry. Brooks, Michael G., General Editor. Eyewitness to War Volume III: US Army Advisors in Afghanistan. Fort Leavenworth, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2010. p. 23-24

[xix] Interview with Major Stephen Boesen. Brooks, Michael G., General Editor. Eyewitness to War Volume III: US Army Advisors in Afghanistan. Fort Leavenworth, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2010. p. 213-216

[xx] Brooks, Michael G., General Editor. Eyewitness to War Volume III: US Army Advisors in Afghanistan. p. 248

[xxi] Interview with Major John Bates. Brooks, Michael G., General Editor. Eyewitness to War Volume III: US Army Advisors in Afghanistan. Fort Leavenworth, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2010. p. 192-194

[xxii] Anthony H. Cordesman, Adam Mausner, David Kasten.. Winning in Afghanistan: Creating an Effective Security Force. Washington: CSIS, 2009.  p. 46-48

[xxiii] Interview with Major John Tabb Brooks, Michael G., General Editor. Eyewitness to War Volume III: US Army Advisors in Afghanistan. Fort Leavenworth, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2010. p. 346

[xxiv] Interview with Major John Bates. Brooks, Michael G., General Editor. Eyewitness to War Volume III: US Army Advisors in Afghanistan. Fort Leavenworth, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2010. p. 192

About the Author(s)

Dr. John Dreyer is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the South Dakota School of Mines. His field of interest is International Security and how small states and large powers interact. John is a displaced Ohioan who calls Toledo home. This paper is the first bite in a larger research project on advisors and their role in the field of International Security. Feedback is appreciated and welcomed at or through twitter @JohnRDreyer.


Some good info here, especially the part about the Soviets & Cubans in Africa.  Hopefully, the lessons learned from KMAG, MACV, various MAAGs, and foreign advisory missions are part of the curriculum in the new MATA course.