Instagram @
military experts
 Edit Translation

Afghan war of the USSR and the USA: three similarities and ten differences

Afghan war of the USSR and the USA: three similarities and ten differences

The mission of the United States and its allies in Afghanistan, which is far from triumphantly ending today in front of our eyes, simply cannot but become a reason for comparing the two military campaigns., held in this country with a fairly short interval, Soviet and American. Someone with haste categoricality is already in a hurry to declare them hardly "identical" - they say, USA contrived, having before our eyes the negative experience of the Soviet Union, "Step on the same rake" and "with the same results". Similar statements are submitted, to put it mildly, incorrect and do not correspond to the truth at all.

It's not even that, that the "shuravi" who came from the USSR that war, contrary to the assertions of Western historians and their domestic liberal colleagues, they did not lose at all. In order to more or less objectively compare the results of the stay in Afghanistan of Soviet soldiers-internationalists and "fighters for democracy" from NATO, it is necessary to speak, first of all, not about general points, but about the most significant differences in goals, methods and, the main thing, their missions. Let's try to consider them at least briefly..

Mistakes repeated exactly

We will start our conversation, perhaps, still from general points, uniting events, 1979-1989 years and operation, which, starting in 2001 year and ends now. What is characteristic, that's what they are, really come down, basically, to be repeated by the Americans (more or less) the most serious mistakes, at one time made by their Soviet "predecessors". so, first similarity: and the US, and the USSR sent troops to Afghanistan, pursuing their own geopolitical interests of the great powers, that, naturally, were not publicly disclosed, but draped with beautiful and "correct" words. In our case, it was about "rendering assistance to the Afghan people" and "fulfilling an international duty", the US version featured "the fight against global terrorism". At the same time, the leaders of the army and special services of both countries, as it turned out, had a very vague idea of ​​how, who and what the structures headed by them will face in reality in this country. Counting on the fast "putting things in order" on its territory, nor American, neither Soviet generals even thought to build long-term plans and strategies. As it turned out - in vain. Both countries are firmly "bogged down" in Afghanistan, plunging deeper and deeper into the abyss of armed conflict. Wherein (and here's the second similarity for you) chances of, that the initially set goals and objectives of a purely military nature will be fulfilled (especially in the shortest possible time, as seen at first) was not originally. And all because, that in both cases the stake was placed on the unequivocal superiority of the regular army over the detachments of the bearded "rebels" in training, armament, equipment and everything else. It was huge, just a fatal mistake. No tanks, helicopters and "Grads" of the Limited contingent of the Soviet army in Afghanistan, nor strategic bombers, UAV, and a bunch of other "precision" and "high-intelligence" weapons of the International Security Assistance Force (International Security Assistance Force, ISAF) were never able to turn the tide of the war with the partisan detachments of dushmans or subsequently the Taliban (It banned in Russia). Attempts to crush the Afghans with the help of the most modern and sophisticated types of weapons and equipment were and remain in their effectiveness equivalent to attempts to cut the morning fog or mountain wind with the sharpest damask sword ... several million dollars - which the Americans and their allies have sinned in recent years., military miscalculations like the USSR, so the United States fades before their main mistake, component, properly, similarity number 3 - the desire to impose on Afghanistan and its people values ​​that are completely alien to them, ideas and worldview. "Shuravi" began to build in this country, then (and located now) at the tribal stage of development, socialism. Americans - a "flourishing democracy". Afghan dekhans, nomads, and equally to the local "elite" as the ideals of Marxism-Leninism, so the "democratic values" were, so to speak, to the wall of the nearest blower. No, seeing for yourself this or that benefit here and now, they could declare anything. Just take it as your own, sincere beliefs were categorically refused. A similar number has never been played in Afghanistan..

One against all and all against one

With common moments, we assume, this is over. Now let's move on to the differences, which, as it has been said, there are many more. The first of these is the well-known fact., that starting his operation in Afghanistan, the USSR, actually, entered into confrontation (and not only political, but also of a military nature) as with the whole "collective West", and with a significant part of the countries of the Muslim world, and, (you can't erase a word from a song!) communist China. The contribution of the Chinese comrades to the armament of the Afghan spooks cannot be overestimated at all. However, "First violin", of course, played by the United States. The budget of the CIA alone at the beginning of the Afghan war spent on "aid" dushmans 5 million dollars annually by its end has grown, according to some sources before 750 million per year, allocated for the same purposes! Talibov, in fact, nobody supported, except for certain circles of Pakistan. The second difference is closely related to the first., being, so to speak, its "mirror image". The Soviet Union did not drag any of its own Warsaw Pact allies "over the river", coping there solely on their own. Representatives of almost fifty countries fought against the Taliban in the ranks of the ISAF, basically, members of the North Atlantic Alliance, but not only them. It would seem, such a powerful and multinational coalition (with minimal support, received by the enemy) would have to win the most convincing victory and easily control the "indomitable" country ". Not a bit of it. Furthermore, Americans and their allies (and this is the fourth difference) spent in Afghanistan exactly twice as long, than "shuravi". However, this did not lead to the achievement of their goals., but only to an exorbitant expenditure of money and other resources., about expenses ... Here we have, of course, fifth difference. Accurate data regarding, how much did the Afghan campaign cost our country, not found in nature. Some American experts call the numbers in 800 millions of dollars, annually spent by Moscow to support the "Kabul comrades" and talk about the OKSA spent on staying in this country from 3 to 8 billion dollars a year. Okay, let's try to take on faith (although the numbers, probably overstated). Multiply by 10 and get 8 billions "for the Afghan government" and ... okay, let be 80 - "to war". Regarding that, how much did Washington get into Afghanistan, more information. Only the program of "restoration and development" of the local economy is estimated at 137 billions of dollars. The direct military spending of the United States alone is already by 2014 year (the moment they proclaimed the official "end of the war", after which the Americans did not even think to get out of Afghanistan) amounted to more 600 billions of dollars!By now, this figure is all 800 billions, although some talk about a trillion. Well, as the saying goes, the rich have their quirks. At the same time, our lovers speculate about, how in the USA everything happens exclusively "according to the law", "Honest and transparent", should know, that according to the estimates of the American controlling organizations, no less 15 and a half billion dollars from the colossal sums of "aid to the Afghan people" were simply plundered only in the period from 2006 by 2017 year. This is just twice as much, than all Soviet aid to this country for the same exact time period.

It's all, what will remain after me ...

Here we come close to new differences.. The sixth one is, that during the period when Soviet troops and advisers were in Afghanistan, this country was by no means the center of world drug production. But the American "fighters for democracy" have achieved fantastic success in transforming it into one.! And this - with that, that since 2002 year on "the fight against Afghan drug trafficking" the West has officially spent ten billion dollars. Nevertheless, the size of the local opium plantations during this time increased significantly and in 2017 reached their historical maximum. it, by the way, UN data. Therefore, the seventh difference can be safely considered that, that the USSR built schools in Afghanistan, bridges, roads, industrial and infrastructure facilities (only large ones were erected about one and a half hundred), and the United States and its allies - "developed democracy" and "gender equality". As far as, the only non-military facility, really left after the Americans is a small diesel power plant, powering the government district of Kabul. Where tens of billions allegedly invested in "restoration and development" have "gone" is absolutely incomprehensible. However, if consider, what 35 USD million invested in a program to grow in Afghanistan ... soybeans, failed completely and with great disgrace, then there is nothing to be surprised at. From the USSR country, albeit desperately resisting his military presence, received real assistance in the field of economics and tens of thousands of qualified specialists, trained in our country, and from the United States - abandoned military bases and bureaucrats mired in corruption and theft, warmed up "under the wing" of the Americans., however, to military affairs. The eighth difference is considered by many to be the ratio of the losses of the Soviet Limited Contingent and the US-led ISAF. we, According to available data, lost about 15 thousand people killed and more 50 thousand wounded. Until recently, the Americans continued to talk about 2 with a half thousand killed and 20 thousands of wounded. On this occasion, our liberals deigned to admire - here, breakwater, what good fellows: fight wisely, and not "cannon fodder"! One could agree, if not for a number of "nuances". First of all, a variety of sources say, that casualty figures for both the U.S. Army, so the whole coalition is shamelessly distorted. The same Iranians, for example claim, that they are underestimated in 2.5, and it in 3 fold. Moreover - the lion's share of the most "dirtiest" and, respectively, dangerous work in Afghanistan for the Americans and their allies was carried out by PMCs, and no one took into account their fighters. Nevertheless, independent sources say about 2 thousands of "private traders", laid down their heads there only with 2001 about 2014 year. More precisely, the losses of the coalition are estimated at 11 thousands killed and it sounds quite realistic. However, and this figure is explained by the fact, that the US and NATO military, unlike ours, practically, did not participate in ground operations, preferring to blow enemies to shreds from the air. Well, and if, at the same time, missile and bomb strikes "mistakenly" destroyed civilians, they were never tormented by remorse. The ninth difference is the most, perhaps, fundamental of all should be considered that, that after the departure of Soviet troops, the government forces of Kabul quite successfully repelled the attacks of the Mujahideen for another three years, until April 1992 of the year. The regime left behind by the Americans collapses, like a house of cards in a matter of days. If not watch. Taliban spread their power across Afghanistan at the speed of wildfire, and no one even tries to resist them. So the tenth difference between the military campaigns of the Soviet Union and the United States can and should be considered their final result. Najibullah's government was defeated without losing its "Soviet bayonets", and as a result of the collapse of the USSR and the subsequent categorical refusal of the then government of Russia to support Kabul in any form. The decision itself to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan was not made for objective reasons., and due to the betrayal of Gorbachev and his clique, surrendered to the West. USA today, kind of, have not yet fallen apart, and Biden, hastily removing the American army from a distant eastern country, only confirms the decision of its predecessor. Soviet soldiers left Afghanistan because, what did they want in Washington, and the Americans are running, because they lost not only the war there, and in general everything, that is possible. That makes all the difference.

Alexander Neukropny

A source