Skip to comments.How the Soviets Won in Afghanistan; And how the U.S. will win
Posted on 09/17/2001 10:21:57 AM PDT by JoeGOP
Won? Huh? The Soviets lost in Afghanistan, didn't they? They were humiliated and defeated in the Afghan quagmire that the US would helplessly sink into if it invaded now, right?
Nope - the Soviets won in Afghanistan. The famed Mujahaddin had slunk back to the refugee camps in Pakistan, demoralized, dejected, and defeated. I was there, I saw it. It was August, 1986, and the Mujhaddin had given up. The Soviets had won.
But then, the Stinger missiles that Ronald Reagan had promised them finally arrived. On September 26, 1986, the first three Stingers were fired by the Muj and three Soviet aircraft were shot down out of the sky. The refugee camps erupted, the Muj poured back into Afghanistan aflame with renewed passion. Over the next 28 months, Stingers would shoot down hundreds of Soviet Hind helicopter gunships and MiG fighter jets. The skies cleared, the Muj fought with fury, and on February 15, 1989, the Soviets retreated back to the Soviet Union.
Ronald Reagan's Stinger missiles defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan, not the vaunted Mujahaddin. Before the Stingers, the Soviets had won. After the Stingers, they lost. So the question for the US military, as it contemplates sending ground forces into the "Afghan quagmire," is: what tactics did the Soviets use to demoralize and defeat the Afghan guerrillas as of August 1986? MORE
Actually, IIRC, without the proper maintence (performed by trained techs), the missles would have fallen into disrepair long ago.
Perhaps someone more familiar with the old Stingers can enlighten us.
President Bush's popularity rating is fleeting at best. He needs to use the bully pulpit when the time is right to put the blame squarely where it belongs.
At this time, it's the total lack of security at domestic airports, and the unpreparedness of the Pentagon in needing jets from Norfolk, VA, instead of "across the street" at Andrews AFB.
Heads should roll.
Almost nobody predicted the demise of the Soviet Union ... certainly none of the experts. In fact, I only recall one voice sounding the theme of the imminent demise of communism. But he was mostly ignored because he was just a "B movie actor," not especially smart, and quite possibly senile.
Ronald Reagan vs. "The Experts"
1980 - Reagan - "The Soviets can't compete with us. I'll get the Soviets to the negotiating table." (June 1980)
1981 - Reagan - "The years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and for the spread of civilization. The West won't contain Communism, it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written." (Ronald Reagan, Commencement Address at University of Notre Dame, May 1981)
1981 - Expert - "It is a vulgar mistake to think that most people in Eastern Europe are miserable." (Paul Samuelson, Professor of Economics, MIT, Nobel Laureate, Economics, 1981)
1982 - Expert - "The Soviet Union is not now, nor will it be during the next decade, in the throes of a true systematic crisis, for it boasts enormous unused reserves of political and social stability that suffice to endure the deepest difficulties." (Seweryn Bialer, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, Foreign Affairs Magazine, 1982/3)
1982 - Expert - "I found more goods in the shops, more food in the markets, more cars on the street ... those in the United States who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse, ready with one small push to go over the brink are wishful thinkers who are only kidding themselves." (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., 1982)
NOTE: This is an example of liberal rationality going out the window as a result of its fascination with the mechanistic Communist economy. If Schlesinger had stopped to consider the pattern of propaganda eminating from the Communist regime (a fact continually pointed out by conservatives), he would have realized that he was merely observing a scripted show to propagandize the West. And this gullible liberal/soviet-romantic (an alleged enlightened intellectual) fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
1982 - Reagan - "In an ironic sense, Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis - a crisis where the demands of the economic order are colliding directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West, but in the home of Marxism-Leninism, the Soviet Union. What we see here is a political structure that no longer corresponds to its economic base, a society where productive forces are hampered by political ones. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying freedom and human dignity to its citizens. A march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history." (Ronald Reagan, Address to the British Parliament, June 1982)
1983 - Expert - "All evidence indicates that the Reagan administration has abandoned both containment and detonate for a very different objective: destroying the Soviet Union as a world power and possibly even its Communist system. [This is a] potentially fatal form of Sovietphobia ... a pathological rather than a healthy response to the Soviet Union." (Stephen Cohen, Princeton University Sovietologist, 1983)
1983 - Reagan - "Let us pray for the salvation of all those who live in the totalitarian darkness - pray that they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.... I urge you to beware the temptation ... to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil." - (Ronald Reagan, Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, March 8, 1983)
1984 - Expert - "That the Soviet system has made great material progress in recent years is evident both from the statistics and from the general urban scene...One sees it in the appearance of well-being of the people on the streets...and the general aspect of restaurants, theaters, and shops... Partly, the Russian system succeeds because, in contrast with the Western industrial economies, it makes full use of its manpower." (John Kenneth Galbraith, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, 1984)
1984 - Expert - "On the economic front, for the first time in its history the Soviet leadership was able to pursue successfully a policy of guns and butter as well as growth ... The Soviet citizen-worker, peasant, and professional - has become accustomed in the Brezhnev period to an uninterrupted upward trend in his well-being ..." (John Kenneth Galbraith, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, New Yorker Magaine, 1984)
1985 - Expert - "What counts is results, and there can be no doubt that the Soviet planning system has been a powerful engine for economic growth...The Soviet model has surely demonstrated that a command economy is capable of mobilizing resources for rapid growth." (Paul Samuelson, MIT, Nobel laureate in economics, 1985)
1985 - Expert - "It's clear that the ideologies of Communism, socialism and capitalism are all in trouble." (James Reston, New York Times, 1985)
1987 - Reagan - "In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards... Even today, the Soviet Union cannot feed itself. The inescapable conclusion is that freedom is the victor. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" (Ronald Reagan, Speech at the Brandenburg Gate, 1987)
1989 - Expert - "Can economic command significantly compress and accelerate the growth process? The remarkable performance of the Soviet Union suggests that it can. In 1920 Russia was but a minor figure in the economic councils of the world. Today it is a country whose economic achievements bear comparison with those of the United States." (Lester Thurow, Professor of Economics, MIT, The Economic Problem, 1989)
1989 - The Berlin Wall came tumbling down just as Reagan said.
1991 - The Soviet Union and Communism collapsed and were placed on the ash heap of history just as Reagan predicted.
1991 - "We are very happy that the coup failed because we have now really destroyed the communist empire, the Soviet state, and of course, as Ronald Reagan said, it was indeed an evil empire and we are glad that it is gone from the earth." —Andrei Kozyrev, Yeltsin Foreign Minister
Post-1991 - "Ladies and gentlemen, if it had not been for the Reagan defense buildup, if the United States had not demonstrated that it is willing not only to stand up for freedom but to devote considerable sums of money to defending it, we probably would not be sitting here today having a free discussion between Russians and Americans." —Boris Pinsker, Soviet Economist.
Post-1991 - "Reagan was the main author of the victory of the Free World over the Evil Empire." - Radek Sikorski, Poland's deputy foreign minister, head of Solidarity during the Cold War, member of committee to rechristen one of Warsaw's central squares "Reagan Square."
Post-1991 - "American policy in the 1980s was a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union." —Oleg Kalugin, former KGB general
Post-1991 - "[Reagan administration policies] were a major factor in the demise of the Soviet system." —Yevgenny Novikov, former senior staff member of the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee
Post-1991 - "Ronald Reagan's appeal ['Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!', Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, June 12th 1987], laughed at in the East as reverie and dismissed in the West as being a utopian dream, was to become reality a good two years later with the collapse of East Germany. After the fall of the Wall on 9 November 1989, Brandenburg Gate was officially opened on December 22nd of that year." —Germany's Berliner-Morgenpost International, From Fantasy to Wonderful Reality, 1997
I ask you: Who had more wisdom and foresight? The simple-minded "airhead"-actor from California? Or the pointy-headed intellectuals from universities of "higher learning"?
If we go to Afghanistan, its going to be messy. Best option is to force them to hand over the main culprits.
A number of reasons for that:
1)Difficulty in identifying the enemy.
2)Democrat-controlled government micromanaged war effort.
When the US became experienced - not including elite forces that already could beat the cong at their own game - the enemy could be defeated. ***But victory was not the goal of the Johnson administration - they had NO definite goal defined.***
In a conflict such as this, if it occurs, the US military must NOT be hamstrung by leaders wishing to make 'symbolic gestures' using the flesh & blood of the troops to accomplish the same.
We will have continuous reconnaisance air cover with UAV's with IR capability. Plus our own nightvision scopes.
Our guys will know who is around them and where they are all the time.
We will own the night.
We will have lists of intelligence ID'd targets provided by Pakistan, Russian and Indian intelligence sources.
And at the same time all borders will be closed and supplies stopped to the enemy.
Small teams - mobil and quick, with recon advantages above - will work through the lists. Arms caches will be destroyed as they are found.
High value targets found during the day will be Stealthed at night.
Loctions where enemys may be foolish enough to concentrate in will be carpet-bombed or FAE'd.
It is hunting season... here come the hunters.
On the other hand, one or two nuclear bombs on the Afghan capital of Kabul, with the message "You - you Afghanis - you find Bin Laden for us. You know your country and this should be a sufficient incentive for you to make us happy about this as soon as possible."
TANKS would be doomed. But not troops of the right composition with the right doctrine and assets.
Nah, the Viet Cong were decimated in the 1968 Tet Offensive. Then we turned the ground war over to the Vietnamese, and used smart bombs to bring the North Vietnamese to the negotiating table.
It was the US media and the liberal Congress who lost Vietnam. I recall Sergeant Shriver, George McGovern's running mate in 1972, saying that if there was a bloodbath in Southeast Asia, we could always go back and fight. Well, there was -- and we didn't.
If there are thousands of US casualties in this upcoming conflict, they won't be due to conventional set-piece battles between the US and Taliban. The 'mountains' will offer no protection to the Muj against our A-10s and Apache helicopters. No, it'll be some damn booby trap that'll get us.
If we're going in -- and I still think we'd be better off backing the Taliban's opposition within Afghanistan -- the best way to do this is airlift in fifty thousand troops, surround Kabul, and close the noose. We raze the place to the ground, go in, capture or kill (if they're not already dead) the leaders. And then leave.
We don't even need fifty thousand. Maybe five thousand. That means we're outnumbered on the ground, so the Taliban will be drawn out and attack. Of course, their superior numbers will be meaningless when the helicopter gunships arrive.
They know what happened in Somalia.
We can beat them. We will beat them. We have to be sharp, pay attention, quickly adapt, and use everything we can in brave ways against them.
We can trap them, but not suffer treaties or agencies with them, with groups or with individuals.
Well, yeah, except for the 'powerful' part.
We don't do there what won't work.
We use our technical capabilities to multiply our effectiveness, given we are fighting a war on the ground in Afghanistan against small mobile groups.
I am sure our guys responsible for planning this are planning unconventionally.
Even the point I made above of a few carpet-bomb, cluster bomb, bunker-buster and FAE attacks mixed in to keep the enemy in a state of uncertainty.
AND a few teams of specialists who know how to "reach out and touch someone..."
This is not Desert Storm.
Furthermore, I fully expect additional sabotage and terrorist attacks within our borders from the balance of the sleepers. They CANNOT be stopped.
We just have to have the will to withstand them.
After all - despite the horror and magnitude of what occured last week - consider this...
They ONLY knocked down 4 or five buildings, and damaged a few more.
How many buildings do we have left?
Four of our planes were destroyed.
Our airlines have a few commercial airliners left (plus Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine flying assets, I believe).
and some 5200 of our people and those of other lands were attacked and killed (some of whom fought back and thwarted 1/4 of their attacks - Remember GLICK BURNETT BINGHAM and possibly others unknown - Patriots who gave their lives to save other lives!).
5200 souls. Themselves unwitting martyrs now for Peace, Liberty and Freedom, attacked by the forces of evil.
BUT here in America, we have a few folks left who will fight on their behalf, who will take on these terrorist in their memory, and are willing to go into harm's way - to give their lives if necessary - to defend what is worthy of defense - our families, our freedoms, our Nation.
We took a hit - no doubt.
BUT we can take it...
And we can da*n sure dish it out.
Here is somemore from the Moscow Times.
Monday, Sep. 17, 2001. Page 3 Missing Russians Listed The Moscow Times One hundred and seventeen Russians were listed Sunday as missing following the terrorist attacks in the United States last week, according to the web site of the Russian Embassy in Washington. The Russian Embassy said it is compiling the list at the web site www.russianembassy.org in response to worried family members and friends who are bombarding the embassy with telephone calls after failing to contact loved ones believed to have been in the vicinity of the World Trade Center or Pentagon at the time of the attacks Tuesday. No Russian citizens have been confirmed as missing or dead in the attacks. Forty-one people who originally appeared on the list had been found by Sunday after they or their loved ones called the embassy to confirm their well-being. But the number of names being added to the list was continuing to grow, from about 90 Saturday to the 117 on Sunday afternoon. Russian officials are checking inquiries against the lists of dead and injured being released by U.S. authorities, the embassy said. Officials at the Russian Embassy are also asking people who find their names on the list of missing persons to call the embassy's hot line at 1-202-298-5772 in Washington or the consulate general in New York at 1-212-348-1717 to assure their families and friends in Russia that they are safe.
In addition, our planes and choppers have electronic counter measures far superior to anything that the Ruskies possessed. Many of the items are still classified by can be seen on Airforce 1.
The mountains are a little freaky there and definitely a challenge to our forces. The local goat herders know every nook and cranny. However we will be sending drones and recon planes all over the place. At the end of the day you can expect our boys to win resoundingly. If the opposition joins in it will be a total romp.
The thing that you guys are forgeting is that Afganistan isnt the only nation supporting terrorists. Libya Suddan and Iraq have to be main US targets. Iran may even be on that list. Afganistan is the least foridable enemy we face.
Bravo. Excellent post!
Schlesinger, Galbraith, Samuelson, Thurow.... members of the ivory tower team known as the best and the brightest.
The best and the brightest, MY AA$$! NOT educators, but pure paid cultural propagandists.
I had gut wrenching, throat choking trouble reading these required college course jerks at the time, and in retrospect, I'm vendicated by my evaluation of these banal, arrogant, self-centered crypto-Marxists. They proved themselves not only wrong, but traitorous. They should have been imprisoned for treason.
God bless Ronald Reagan.
I'd have to say there's no arguing that statement a'tall.
btw; I must say I'm find your writing style remarkably familiar, SOL2.