April 09, 2003  


TBOGG notes that "This won't be another Vietnam...it's going to be more like Russia's Afghanistan adventure."
And on that note, cue:

"When the highest political leaders of the USSR sent its forces into this war, they did not consider the historic, religious, and national particularities of Afghanistan. After the entry these particularities proved the most important factors as they foreordained the long and very difficult nature of the armed conflict. Now it is completely clear that is was an impetuous decision to send Soviet forces into this land. It is now clear that the Afghans, whose history included many centuries of warfare with various warring groups, could not see these armed strangers as anything but armed invaders. And since these strangers were not Muslim, a religious factor was added to the national enmity. Both of these factors were sufficient to trigger a large mass of resistance among the people, which various warriors throughout history had been unable to overcome and which the Soviet forces met when they arrived in Afghanistan."

- THE SOVIET-AFGHAN WAR, by The Russian General Staff,
translated by Lester W. Grau & Michael A. Gress

Replacing "USSR/Soviet" with American and "Afghan/Afghanistan" with "Iraq/Iraqi" looks uncomfortably close to a preview of things present, and possibly things to come. Not that the parallels are entirely direct, but the Soviets were very successful in their initial campaign to seize control, as we seem to be. It took a little time for things to break down, for outside intervention to take effect, for local groups to assert themselves both for (rarely) and against (most frequently) the invaders.

The problem with relying upon the locals is that as much as they hate Saddam, they also hate us. When Saddam is gone ...

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" only works until the mutual enemy has been disposed of.

, for more on the possible future of the occupation of Iraq.


posted by kmmontandon | 1:16 AM
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