As the conflict In Iraq grinds on and we are bombarded with sound bites from the fools on the hill claiming victory is essential and any thing less is defeat and therefore unacceptable. This is the line of reasoning the USSR used in Afghanistan;
they persisted in the face of resistance from indigenous civilians and from militants funded by the US.
It took the USSR 10 years to extricate themselves from the quagmire that they created. George’s play mirrors that of the Russians.
The USSR’s decision to invade Afghanistan was made in secret by a very small group of Politburo members and then rubber-stamped by the other Politburo members.
Russia’s decision to send troops was made on limited information. According to Soviet veterans of the events, KGB sources were trusted over the military intelligence (GRU) sources.
Their analysis of internal social processes in Afghanistan was done through the conceptual lens of Marxist-Leninist doctrine, which blinded the leadership to the realities of traditional tribal society.
Believing that there was no country in the world, which was not ripe for socialism, party ideologues saw Afghanistan as a “second Mongolia.” Such conceptualization of the situation led to the attempts to impose alien social and economic practices on Afghan society, such as forced land reform.
The Soviet decision makers did not anticipate the influential role of Islam in the Afghan society. There were very few experts on Islam in the Soviet government and academic institutions.
Political and military leaders were surprised to find that rather than being perceived as a progressive anti-imperialist force, the Afghanis saw them as foreign invaders, and “infidels.
The Afghan communist PDPA (provisional government) never was unified ; it was split along ethnic and tribal lines. The infighting between the “Khalq” and the “Parcham” factions made the tasks of controlling the situation unsuccessful.
The Soviet Army also quickly realized the inadequacy of its preparation and planning for the mission in Afghanistan.
The regular Afghan army was often unreliable because of desertions and lack of discipline.
The realization that there could be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan came very early on.
Parallels with America’s war in Vietnam were obvious and frequently referred to by the Soviet military officers.
While presidential powers increase, checks and balances decrease and the constitution erodes, the terrorists won.
Soon you’ll have to present a passport to go through Canada or Mexico, the terrorists won.