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    If USSR won Afghan war?

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    DostoevskyRasputin

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    If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  DostoevskyRasputin on Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:00 am

    Privyet everyone!

    I am an American citizen. I don't admire everything the USSR/ Russia has done, but I feel that their Afghan war, if not just, was not worth opposing. I feel president Reagen made an error in aiding the mujahadeen.

    What if USSr had won? Would Afghanistan today be a better place, with more rights for women, and less anarchy and chaos?

    Any ideas?
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    TR1

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  TR1 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:13 am

    It was not a war the USSR was going to win, in any real sense of the word.
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    DostoevskyRasputin

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  DostoevskyRasputin on Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:15 am

    Sort of like a Soviet Vietnam? that is what I have heard.

    No Afghan SSR then  unshaven ?

    As Sa'iqa

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:47 am

    It is impossible for anyone to achieve strategic victory in Afghanistan. The only possible way to "win" would be to forcibly convert them to another religion at the same time enforcing a civilized political model. And even then it would take several generations to see the result.
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    GarryB

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  GarryB on Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:10 am

    Actually I remember reading articles in Soldier of Fortune about how by the mid 1980s before Stinger had been introduced that the Muj were losing and the effective use of heliborne troops to cut off and intercept muj groups as well as take out their transport routes had gotten to the point of being effective.

    the introduction of Stinger and also other systems less talked about like Milan ATGMs changed the way the Soviet fought... they turned to artillery more and their raids got less discriminant.

    I love the irony though... at the time the western press derided Soviet tactics of bombing villages where muj forces were found and could not be dislodged easily.... I see on the program made by Ross Kemp that the west will happily drop heavy bombs on Afghan villages when it suits them too.

    There are often comparisons with Vietnam, but that is rubbish. Vietnam was an Asian country first ruled by France, then Japan took it and then France came back. the similarity with Afghanistan was that most villagers didn't know what democracy was and really didn't care much.

    the Vietnamese didn't fight for the Soviet Union... they fought to first get the French out, then the Americans and the corrupt south vietnamese.

    In afghanistan the Kabul leadership ruled Kabul and most of the country carried on in spite of who was in power.

    The Soviets invaded Afghanistan because the CIA moved from Iran to Afghanistan to set up stations there... which the Soviets could not tollerate. Western claims they wanted warm water ports are ridiculous... they would have to invade Pakistan to do that.

    Had the US just left Afghanistan the women of Afghanistan would be properly educated, they would be able to have jobs, and vote. There would be functioning infrastructure and a much better standard of living and the country side would be much safer.

    A lot of the mineral wealth of the country could probably be exploited now with perhaps a new gold rush and rushes for other valuable minerals and the country would be in a much better position.

    Instead all that money and effort was used to buy weapons and ammo and to kill and destroy and several generations of Afghans don't know what peace is.

    No Afghan SSR then

    There was no interest in incorporating Afghanistan into the Soviet Union... they just wanted a friendly neighbour that would say no to US bases.

    It is impossible for anyone to achieve strategic victory in Afghanistan.

    In terms of occupation if you want to take their country from them then you are wasting your time... if you go there and build schools and set up water supplies and electricity and don't have a super power and other rich countries undermining your efforts, then you could work wonders in terms of improving things for the people of Afghanistan.

    the main problem is that with money comes corruption... all the money the west spent in Afghanistan is ending up in contractors pockets...


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    TR1

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  TR1 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:10 pm

    As Sa'iqa wrote:It is impossible for anyone to achieve strategic victory in Afghanistan. The only possible way to "win" would be to forcibly convert them to another religion at the same time enforcing a civilized political model. And even then it would take several generations to see the result.
    Oh boy, civilized......

    As Sa'iqa

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  As Sa'iqa on Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:27 pm

    Yep. The Taliban don't give a damn about education and healthcare. They blow up schools that educate girls after all. But the population turns to them because their courts, though brutal and backward, work faster than the state ones.

    Though I agree with the Soviet policy vis a vis Islamists in Central Asia. Islamists have a predator mentality - the more you're willing to give them, the more will they demand. The only thing they understand is the language of force. The US didn't dare to create a secular state in Afghanistan. It's still sharia based.
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    Regular

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  Regular on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:25 pm

    IMHO, they won the war, but they bailed on insurgency. Too much resources, lives and time wasted in failed country. Even today this land isn't worth single life NATO loses, it will be the same after they will leave.
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    TR1

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  TR1 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:51 pm

    As Sa'iqa wrote:Yep. The Taliban don't give a damn about education and healthcare. They blow up schools that educate girls after all. But the population turns to them because their courts, though brutal and backward, work faster than the state ones.

    Though I agree with the Soviet policy vis a vis Islamists in Central Asia. Islamists have a predator mentality - the more you're willing to give them, the more will they demand. The only thing they understand is the language of force. The US didn't dare to create a secular state in Afghanistan. It's still sharia based.

    Pre-USSR there was no Taliban ruling the country.

    We can't make a judgement on their level of civilization relative to the USSR without fundamentally being biased with our perspective.
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    Werewolf

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  Werewolf on Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:00 pm

    TR1 wrote:Pre-USSR there was no Taliban ruling the country.

    We can't make a judgement on their level of civilization relative to the USSR without fundamentally being biased with our perspective.

    That is wrong Taliban and "sharia" ideology with violent force against own and intruders dates back to 1840s and the decades after that as a responce to british empire violence.
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    George1

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  George1 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:28 pm

    no country can win such an unorthodoxy war. Everyone failed to win and if USA withdraw it is likely that Taliban will emerge again, since USA and afghan government have control only of big cities and Taliban occupy the countryside (the same that happened when soviets withdraw)
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    GarryB

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  GarryB on Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:54 am

    Without western and Saudi support the insurgency would have dried up and disappeared.

    Very simply, the Soviets didn't need to change any of the locals... most people appreciate running water and electricity.

    Roaming bands of rebels need to eat and need a supply of weapons. When there is an invading army the locals opposed to that invading army support the rebels.

    When that invading army builds schools and lets the locals teach local language and not impose their own education on the locals, and build wells and hospitals the locals stop helping the rebels.

    The Rebels can either leave or use brutality to take from the locals... which usually means the locals start actively supporting against the rebels.

    the Taleban was created and supported by Pakistan with Saudi and US money.


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    ― Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
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    dino00

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  dino00 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:54 am

    USSR was invited.
    They not invade, they deny 2 times to go to afghanistan, then...
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    Regular

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  Regular on Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:25 pm

    Yes, they were invited, but sure does it make a difference?
    Locals hated Soviets more than each other. Inner fighting still existed, but warlords cooperated to fight against great "Satan". CIA mercenaries and funds seemed to attract too.
    It was their traditions and religion that Soviets threatened. More progressive people lived in cities and most of them supported Russians, but backward nomads and peasants were majority and they supported insurgency with all means. No wonder that soldiers even shot civilians in their karaul.
    Taliban was not even major force yet.
    I have many family members who served there and ALL OF THEM think that local Afghanis are subhuman POS. Some of them are even proud of saying how many of them they killed even if they were civilians by day. International duty for them was to send as many of dukhs to Allah. I have never met a single Afghan vet who said otherwise or have good opinion about them. Smile
    So it makes me laugh when I read about how Afghanis were threated by Russians, depict themselves as victims when I have first hand accounts that they were the real aggressors.
    It was the reason why I refused to go there in 2008. Even if money was OK - 2400 euro per month for doing nothing tbh. Maybe just to visit graves, not all bodies were sent back with gruz 200, my causins father was buried there.

    mutantsushi

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  mutantsushi on Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:29 pm

    Regular wrote:Yes, they were invited, but sure does it make a difference?
    I would guess so, since why else would the US bother obfuscating history rather than calling a spade a spade?
    Fact is, the USSR was 100% happy with the previous afghan government under the king, it wasn't communist but it cooperated with them just fine, they had allies in military, etc.  My father actually spent time teaching there during that period.  

    Despite the situation being largely stable, "neutral" and unthreatening to the US, the CIA instigated a coup specifically with the plan that doing so would instigate the USSR to stage a counter coup, setting up the scenario for an insurgent war to bleed the USSR dry, a Vietnam for the USSR... proxy war in cooperation with Pakistani deep state and Gulf potentates who were increasingly using fundamentalism as a tool to counter secular leftist nationalist tendencies...

    Try reading: Why Margaret Thatcher Loved Islamism

    It is strange the rationales people invent, that USSR wanted to absorb it into USSR (why didn't it then?), that the Soviets wanted to steal their emeralds (this I heard from a Pashto guy from Afghan/Pakistan) ...as if the USSR was desperate for mineral wealth, that the Soviets were planning to invade Pakistan/Iran next (why not do so if that was their plan, since Pakistan ended up being the Muj's rear base).
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    TheGeorgian

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  TheGeorgian on Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:54 pm

    Depends if Russian army stayed there till let's say 2000s and later. Wouldn't have changed anything. Would still have no real infrastructure, burocracy, education / health system etc.

    First of all it depends because Soviets would have pulled out anyway because of desolution of USSR and if Russian army still remained there despite the political turmoil in Russia itself, it would have still been the same. No real development. But on pro side. Probably no Al Quaida and also no Invasion of Afghanistan by US. It's an interesting concept. But very wage if named scenario would have happened at all. One of a thousand and this one is the only positive one ....
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    Mattke

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  Mattke on Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:00 am

    Afghanistan is a tribal land...where no European power, imho, should try to put its nose in. The British empire tried it in the 19th century and failed, and the Russians failed.

    nastle77

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  nastle77 on Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:38 pm

    Mattke wrote:Afghanistan is a tribal land...where no European power, imho, should try to put its nose in. The British empire tried it in the 19th century and failed, and the Russians failed.
    Afgans are not invincible they just have not been conquered by a western power
    Ussr if they really wanted to conquer them they could have easily done so remember the other central Asian republics were like afgans in 17th century until they were civilized
    Afghan ssr was just not worth the effort
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    KiloGolf

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  KiloGolf on Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:12 pm

    USSR actually won that war. By the time the Soviet forces were out (Febr. 1989), the Afghan Armed forces were strong enough to maintain control of major cities and roads. Kabul only fell because Boris Yeltsin refused to keep sending them aid, while Pakistan never stopped funding their beardie proxies.

    Technically Russia lost the Afghan war. USSR won it.
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    George1

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  George1 on Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:20 pm

    In order to answer such a question we must define what is "win" in such a war.
    USSR intervened to support the communist government of Kabul. Without their military aid they would have fallen from early 1980s since marxist reforms although modernized the society weren't famous among traditional muslim tribes and casts. If USSR continued the war even if it didnt break up, then the price of human losses would be continued.
    My opinion is that such a war couldnt be won since the local population in rural areas was determined to overthrew the government at all costs. And watch what happened next, an even more radical movement Taliban emerged after 1992 and took power in 1996. When the ideological war ended it started the war between various islamic factions and has been continued till today..


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    KiloGolf

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  KiloGolf on Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:18 pm

    George1 wrote:My opinion is that such a war couldnt be won since the local population in rural areas was determined to overthrew the government at all costs. And watch what happened next, an even more radical movement Taliban emerged after 1992 and took power in 1996. When the ideological war ended it started the war between various islamic factions and has been continued till today..

    I doubt people living in the Afghan cities, women, teenagers and university students did not approve of the secular government and non-islamic rule. A good decade or two of secular Afghanistan would have made wonders there, especially with the internet coming strong by early '00s, RT setting up shop and Putin taking over in 2000. The argument about external support applies for the insurgency as well, you back your allies when external forces wage war on them. USSR for as long as it lasted succeeded in Afghanistan. Russia betrayed and abandoned them, they could have easily back them up and not have to do the same thing in  Tajikistan and Caucasus.
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    KoTeMoRe

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  KoTeMoRe on Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:31 pm

    A case of a military conflict that had no sense being won.

    You win the war with very heavy means and then you'd be forced to deal with the local power being thoroughly segregated between town and village and educated and illiterate masses.

    At the end, Afghanistan was only a gate for trouble. The US is tasting it about right now. Nevermind their military being allegedly the superior side. It's really easy, Afghanistan could have been won fast if the Soviet leadership wanted to maintain its presence in the country. From the get go they didn't.

    And that scar you can feel in Syria too, with the many counterproductive moves to find a political solution within acceptable limits. Ironically Russia even today isn't confident enough to go in without a clear plan.
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    KiloGolf

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  KiloGolf on Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:55 pm

    KoTeMoRe wrote:The US is tasting it about right now.

    Well the US created an Islamic Republic there (foolishly imo), very different to the Soviet approach. They brought sharia into the cities and this lead to the depopulation of the whole country from whatever secular-folks resided there.

    Soviets won the war by 1987, in the sense that their massive presence wasn't needed anymore. Had they not collapsed or had Russia supported Afghanistan as they did in Tajikistan, there would be no major problems there right now.

    This is all Russia's fault in not being able to run the shop properly from 1991 till 2000 or so.
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    GarryB

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  GarryB on Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:50 am

    After 1991 the Russians had their own problems... they didn't share a border with Afghanistan so had no real reason to interfere...

    There were plenty of countries with their hands out for aide... Russia was in enough economic problems and didn't need to give away money for nothing.

    The US saved the Afghans from the commies... they never spent a cent in that region on anything that didn't go bang or explode... why not let them show their generosity and help out those they armed for a decade before...

    I saw a recent documentary about Afghanistan and they talk about buildings built by the Soviets being popular because the power and utilities still work... they said they would welcome the Soviets back as the billions spent by the US just goes into the pockets of US contractor companies that really don't deliver very much for the Afghan people. Afghan warlords get big flash houses with big fences, but nothing else.


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    ― Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    nastle77

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    Re: If USSR won Afghan war?

    Post  nastle77 on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:06 pm

    I think this is a good thread to discuss battle of jalalabad in 1989 when the mujahideen bandits were repelled by najeebullah forces despite extensive help from pakistan

    Any articles or sources that describe this battle in detail ?

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