Is Nato repeating the USSRs Afghan mistakes?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, May 15, 2008.

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  1. Is Nato repeating the USSR's Afghan mistakes
    By Alastair Leithead
    BBC News, Kabul

    There are different soldiers behind the gun, but the task ahead of them is just as daunting

    Twenty years ago today the tanks and armoured cars started to rumble north out of Kabul as the Soviet Union began its withdrawal from Afghanistan after eight-and-a-half years of war.

    The mujahideen, backed by money and weapons from an alliance of the United States, Britain, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, had beaten a world superpower.

    Today the country is scattered with reminders of the Soviet occupation - you don't have to go far even in Kabul to stumble across the rusting wrecks they left behind.

    The aptly named Zamir Kabulov first arrived in Afghanistan as a young Soviet diplomat in 1977 and has lived through the last turbulent 30 years of this country's misfortunes.
    More on the link
  2. Providing the politicians supply the massive amount of money needed for redevelopment then I do think that the troops are capable of defeating the enemy.
    But long job, it took over ten years for UK to sort out the problem in Malaya and a great deal of work in the private sector, which USSR did not do will be required.
  3. The main mistake is the objective. The USA tries to establish strategical control over Afghanistan. The task is wrong itself. And it is impossible to resolve wrong task by right means.
  4. Here's a presidential candidate's view of it:
    Mind you, in the same speech, Mr Obama said the US hasn't sent enough Arabic interpreters to Afghanistan. :?

    Article goes on to point up how most European nations spend around one-half as much (per cent) of GDP on defence as does America - despite AFG/IZ commitments.

    As it happens, I think I agree with Sergey - and the prospect of a permanent transfer of NATO command in AFG to Unca Sam doesn't cheer me either.
  5. Interesting. Is ignorance a prerequisite for US presidency?
  6. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    hehehe, has this guy at least left America before?
  7. Well, puts him on the same "well-informed about The War On Terror" footing as that well-known Al Qaeda expert, John McCain. . . . .
  8. The quote in the BBC report from Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, a mujahideen leader and an opponent of the Afghan government, puts the finger on what is a significant issue for some (many?) Afghans. Answering a question on how the Soviet occupation compared to today's (NATO) mission, he replied:

    "To my opinion the ground situation is no different because the Soviets were imposing their Communist regime on us. The present forces - they are imposing their so-called democracy on us."
  9. I have a vivid memory of a woman who had just been appointed to a senior position in, I think, the Department of Homeland Security, saying 'Al Qaeda is a mainly Shia organisation' or words to that effect. Am I remembering this correctly?
  10. Mike Ryan, author of 'Battlefield Afghanistan' seems to think so.
  11. Link?
    Elucidate? :?
  12. Yes - Simply by being there!
  13. Sorry, book I'm reading at the moment!

    Not bad actually, if ever so slightly sensationalist. Full of pictures of blokes wearing SF issued black nasty over their eyes.
  14. The trouble is that none of the politicians have read any history. Maybe they can't read anyway...

    In the last few centuries the British Army has repeatedly marched and fought over this exact terrain. The Russians have always coveted Afghanistan, and recently have also suffered at the hands of the Afghans. All of this is well enough documented.

    About time political 'leaders' went down to the local library and took some remedial reading lessons.
  15. Would they be able to read directions to the local library? :)