Spectacolul ideilor pe hartă

24/dec/2009 Acum 30 de ani, URSS atacau Afganistanul. Azi, NATO & SUA pot învăţa ceva din istorie?

(Un text marca Foreign Affairs despre lecţiile pe care eşecul sovieticilor în Afganistan, după 1979, le-ar putea da astăzi într-un conflict a cărui soartă pare în cumpănă. Pe această temă, EURAST mai recomandă: strategia propusă de administraţia Obama; interviu cu Henry Kissinger).

The Soviet Victory That Never Was

What the United States Can Learn From the Soviet War in Afghanistan

 Nikolas K. Gvosdev

December 10, 2009


Summary – The Soviet Union came closer than many think to achieving its objectives in Afghanistan. How it almost managed to win – and why it ultimately did not – should serve as a lesson for U.S. policymakers today.

NIKOLAS K. GVOSDEV is Professor of National Security Studies at the Naval War College. The views expressed herein are entirely his own.

Could the Soviet Union have won its war in Afghanistan? Today, the victory of the anti-Soviet mujahideen seems preordained as part of the West’s ultimate triumph in the Cold War. To suggest that an alternative outcome was possible – and that the United States has something to learn from the Soviet Union’s experience in Afghanistan – may be controversial. But to avoid being similarly frustrated by the infamous “graveyard of empires,” U.S. military planners would be wise to study how the Soviet Union nearly emerged triumphant from its decade-long war.

There are, of course, some fundamental differences between the Soviets’ war in the 1980s and the U.S.-led mission today. First, the Soviet Union intervened to save a communist regime which was in danger of collapsing due to resistance to its comprehensive and often traumatic social-engineering programs. Unlike the Soviets and their client regime, the United States is not interested in forcibly removing the burkas from Afghan women, shooting large numbers of mullahs for resisting secularization, or reprogramming the political and social mores of Afghans. Instead, Washington has a far more limited objective: namely, ensuring that Afghanistan remains an inhospitable base for extremist groups hoping to attack the West.

Second, the Soviet army was prepared to fight a total war in Afghanistan, taking heavy losses in men and machinery and inflicting sweeping violence on the Afghan people. No U.S. commander would be willing to wage such a war today; the U.S. military realizes that making a desert and calling it peace is no way to curtail an insurgency.

But the Soviet experience should not be entirely ignored. When Soviet troops pulled out of Afghanistan in February 1989, many in the United States expected to see the mujahideen quickly topple the pro-Moscow government in Kabul. This did not happen. The regime led by Mohammad Najibullah, whom Moscow installed as president in 1987, remained in control of the country. For a moment, it appeared as if the Kremlin had successfully left in power an Afghan government and army that could withstand the Soviet withdrawal.

For a moment, it appeared as if the Kremlin had successfully left in power an Afghan government and army that could withstand the Soviet withdrawal. The Najibullah government was able to survive because Najibullah recognized the futility of the earlier Soviet strategy in Afghanistan. Afghans, he knew, would not fight and die for the Soviet Union. But, he realized, Afghans could be co-opted to work with the government to defend local and clan interests. Najibullah allowed regional leaders – and, in some cases, former mujahideen commanders – to form their own militias and, with mixed results, to join the regular army. The most successful of these was the Uzbek militia led by General Abdul Rashid Dostum, which formed the 53rd infantry division of the Afghan army.

 The departure of Soviet troops – “the foreigners” – weakened ties among various mujahideen factions. Najibullah’s government used long-standing rivalries, along with selective and generous bribery, to drive wedges between militant groups and then take advantage of the fighting that broke out as a result. At the same time, Najibullah received weaponry, food, and fuel from the Soviets, which gave his forces a significant advantage in terms of battlefield firepower and resources. The Afghan military flew the latest Soviet aircraft and had hundreds of Soviet-made Scud missiles in its arsenal. (text integral word doc. – Gvosdev – Afganistan – FAff dec 09 )

_______click pe imagine pentru o rezoluţie mai bună; by Bill Day 17 nov 09


24 decembrie 2009 - Posted by | caricaturi / comics, Geopolitica, Intelo, Istorie | , , , , ,

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