The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: Five Years After
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASEAS9
iodueed yoi.uly b, tlic Ofiiee or Near Hastem and Sooih Asiannd .he OlT.ee of So-.e!, prepared lay
. NC-SA. -iih major contributionsOVA Additional
con mlmi ions were midend
as coord, na led with the Diict.ocaie ot Operations,
I lie Sin ifi hn .i'>hiii
Key Judg in inlhan five yean aim (he Soviet* invaded Afghanistan, ihcv are
downar of increasing intensity. The Sov.cis have
li"lc 'educing jhc insurgency orcepiancc by ihc
O(ilc. aric, llie Afghan resistance continuesrow stronger and
IO comma rid -id reread popular suppon. Fighting has gradually spread to all pansantslan The Sovkts eonnol less icriitocy than Ihey did in
nd iheir air folds, garrisons, and lines of communi'.ation arc increasingly sub/ctt to insurgent attack.
The serious shortenings of Ihe Afghan Army have farced theboulder more of the combai burden than they anticipated. But thc Sovietsshown link imagination in developing counterinsurgency tactics, and (hey have relied mainly nn s'.eieotyped search and destroy operations thai oficn give the insurgents advance warning of an assault. Poor intelligence has alsoontinuing problem.
Although Soviet military tactics are clearly designed iuosses of personnel and equipment. we estimale they have suffered0 casualties, includingilled, and lostelicopters and fiied-wing aircraft and thousands of armored vehicles and trucks. Wc estimate casualties in die Afghan Army ai0 and insurgent casualties aticludtng civilian sytnpaihi'Cfs.
Meanwhile, the So-iei program lo transform Afghanistaneliable Communist client Stale is having little impact:
Efforts at media indoctrination of Afghans fail became of Afghan illiteracy, distrust of the regime, religious beliefs, and adherence to traditional value*.
The regime has bought only temporary loyalties, by bribery andwith insurgent groups.
The Afghan school system ishambles, and trainees sent to the USSR often become antagonistic toward thc Soviet system. Many cannot find appropriate or attractive positions upon their return to Afghanistan.
- The Afghan ruling parly is riveniionalism.
The insurgents have SciiouS problems ofwn. They have few local leaders of quality, rivalries among insurgent leadersciioni inhibit cnopcialion and often result in bloody fighling; and inartcnnie training ami supply sltOiiarcs are common
wc ixi.cvc. ilie fiehiioii inan will increase in ihcj years The insurgems archow greater aggrcssi-cncss as ihey receive hciivr weapons and more naming.oviets areng renewed resolve to bicak th: military stalemate and have begun toot;posture. They are slipping up etto'ti to halt insurgent intitiraiion. and we expect toreater use ol air power olnng the Pad-mini and Iranian borders.
Over ihcwomprove men is in ihc insurgency becomv evident, we believe it most likely thai ihcillheir forces incrementally, perhaps by0 men. Such anwould probably include coniingenis of Specialised force, such as security baualionv and specialized corneal and suppoii units Lesseither because ol coniinuino frustration or if xVvr situation dcic-iotaics more drasiically thanievcSo-iets could eipand thrir forces by several divisions, possibly as many asen. and increase cHoiis. to garrison and hold large aicas. Even then, ho wevcr. they would not have enough troops to maintain control in much of ihc countryside as long as the insurgents have access to strong external suppon and open bordcis
We cannot ruleore serious delerioraiion of Ihc Sovici position ir. Afghanistan, which could arise if (lie insurgents, improve theiradjust their tactics, and assimilate increased outside assistance more rapidly than wc anticipate. This train of events would probably force the Soviets to review (heir basic options in Afghanistan and could resultieatly enpanded military commitment and an even wider war.
We also cannot rule out greater progress by the Soviets in buildingand military infrasiructure in Afghanistan Thisbe more likely if Soviet pressure or internal instability inin Islamabad's limiiing iis suppon for the rcsisnr.ee Even so.could noi completely pacify ihc country and withdraw aol"
The So-teit in out view,l> real progress lov>ardthe nenyears. The moreei'i**'* Soviet tactic*
owr ihc pan ycatf.suggest thaicontinuest ihe lopf lerm.grindthe will o( ihe initirgcnit toand alio* the Kabul governmentonsolidate Communist luleSoviciim and probably eipeci thai theirfgrtan aimed forces sod tainy indict. reforms "nil bear fnail ia ihc long ter-rt.
War wcannrssnot appear toroblem for cilhcr side, and thv Sovictsifo interest in compromising ihetr inanmum demands I'rosncsisxlitical seiilcmeni remain dim because of Soviet opposition.
V>ii' i'iogether with Ihc StrainsoiiitlCMiisurgciKy. iiaiHfiitiijn. have worsened morale and discipline problems in lite.tnd produced wire grumblingome. Wc believe thats effortimitman jnd financial costs uf the war have held dome sue poliiiCiil and sevul " ,i. .1 i. inevel acceptable to the leadership tfMn peocubl' believes il I-lncrcd theo*Ik international centu'.
ft* lis aslKnts in
hcSL General Secretars GorbJchet prcuamablt willloihc Afghanistan prooacm ut vacateand ma)ut hiso> irt Afghanc belioe lhal he "ill be WcupaetJthe ne ii year or so (tkfc tonsoltdaiiibr. hit puaci in ;hf Sottci leadership In Ourbctrong inlcresl in avo>dmf furtiliiiA* tiiat might make him tookor adtcnturKitc. He isere true. io seek sharp rcvtsnaiva mgoals or str.itcgt
Thc Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: Five: YettS After
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan innitialled its Communist Prime Minister, ind ioiUtkdCommunist ic|)me
3 Moscow ctpecteii thai lhe accessionnore malleable re|inic in Kabul under BrKitmal. coupled wilh the Soviet military pretence, wosld bolsici the Afghanlimidate th. insurgents, and allow Moscow lo avoid amilitary engagement.
The Sovietseottceoe (hat (he leadership
miscalculaied. and they acknowledge lhat (hey haveigher price lhan they anticipated. They arc Still searching for in effective way of pacifying Af-[haiusian shortissive infusion of mililary forces The insurgents are stronger lhan ai any nme since the invasion, and ihc overwhelming majority of Afghani continue to rjpoose the Soviet presence.
The Afghan resistance consists of hundreds ofbsMJi whoarochial interests ihead of any national effect. They generallyradition of opoosition to central government itilhoriiv,of iheesire t; preserve localulture lhat glorifies watfare. and an inleren in (he profits to be made from guerrilla fighting. They disagree widely on ihe goals and strategy of Iheando clear idea oftbey would put in place of ihc Soviet style regime
Most Afghans have never had much sense of national identity, and manylhe maiorliylend to place local iotca-csis first. Semi; bandi folic* Islamic fundamentalists, who sayai ic- make Afghanistanhcocraiicmallervence allegiance so moderate Islamic figures, whoecular government similar to those before lhe Communists came to power.
The number of insurgents hai grswn steadily, and thc total would be much higher if wc included villagers >bO have arms bat fight onlyicked On thc basis of sources of varying reliability, we estimate ihc number of full and pan-lime insurgents itG
Ind pfjOibl* many timet thai number have JhIii) ihe ranmifjr ton* capacity We believe lhat"
aboul iO.MO Iu I irsuigcnlt ii any
given lime Many ol the insurgents bold root in the exilian economy duiing ihe day and fight ai night: ih' fighting lime of others it limned by lh< agricclturcyele ot -interRet ma neead huheplacing combal kuci
Tot Spread of Ibe IruuigrnCy
Before ilie Soviet invasion, ihe Afghan Government bad loti effective, eoauol of ceaieal Afghanistan, and
una11cnuhighly active ia (he easier*
provirfCea. Deapile some serious outbreak* ofas Ihe uprising in Heral inwatte in and northern Afghanistan -etc generally
ejuieimonthse re was aimed
resource ia eery province
Intimity. The inientiiy of thein all guerrillain dilTerent areas and at diirerent times of the year Some cornrnanders- -particuliithose in iheant preniire on ti>.err.meat outposts and eexivoyt Others, because ol lack of nerve, ammunition, or weapont, only occasionally challenge ihe Commit nista Some insurgmts simplyfor ihe enemy to nuke thc first move figoroulhr at Iu mosi innate ia (he late spring aod carry fall.ho good -either peroiils improved mobility and more rapid resupply Many insurgentsfromarvest crops or io -inier with their famines in Pakman or in Afghan erne
We judge, on ihe bails of aol reports onthat the mi easily of Ihe overallgradually increased,)attacks on airfields, garrisons, andtargets. Majoe roads icmna insecureand periodic Soviet
[ ^csiiranceponsible for tempo-rary but significant thoeiaget of food. fuel, and eleeir.eityKabul Severalthe invasnMnot iotaW|t-activity <r. Herat and Qandaha*
Strengths High morale Broad ei'tl'ton support
Many disorganized groups
Shortages and un-
eouol distribution of "earvr.i
Many poorly trained
Weapons and loeiles unsuited io terrain and counter-trsurgerxy war/ore Poor intelligence ond command and tonirol
A/ghen Go tin-
Drier ion i
Lock of to'iipmeat Pol it it olonal ism
r the nasi live yeart. travelerscporieal thai thcentsbecome hrtirr armed as then-have been iupi><emcnlod fromand by weapons captured from Sovietfencesincluding heavymall tupr-ty of heat tackingdirTeicncea skills and luppiie* of<cpori ihearc grow ing
more capable inuse
Popularreport thai white
ttk:re ii occasional war weariness amongupport for Ihc insurgents remains high. Sustained Soviet mililary pressure has only temporarily reduced civilian support for lhe resistance in somePanjshcr Valleynd Qsndahar and Herat2j--but ihc Soviets have not been able to permanently pacily any area
In much of Afghanistan, the relationship between the resistance and civilians is such lhat distinctions arc artificial. We believe that the migration and periodic displacement of perhaps half the population have had mince) elTecis. Villagersremain in Afghanistan apparently grow enoueh lo feed the guerrillas, and some insurgents return from Pakistan or the citieso light andarm
Initlligfacf. Because they enjoy the support ofmajority of the prxsolaiion.on Soviet and regime pians is SuperiorofMic Soviets and the Kabul regime.has been critical to ihc insurgents'avoiding enemy offensives and launchingcommander Masood claims to haveor months of warning before Soviellhe I'anjshcr Valley, permitting him lodefenses and mine approaches before lasthe sucrccelcri in covertly evaeuatinrpopulation firyni ihc valley
parly factionalism nac prompted
1 uf the Aft tun armed fmcci IO collaborate
with insurgents, in some cases hellingrange .iss.ivsniatn"ispirpaiu sabotagi
Trrriiorial Control. We believe lhal Ihe Sovietscontrol over Afghan territory today than theyyears sgo (seendBy lateGovernment statistics indicated lhal thecontrolled almost twice as many localin Afghanistan as Ihc government. Wcregime lost further ground4 becauseinsurgent activity ir! the cities andin srcunlvof lhe Countryside.
remain subject 10
Ircqucni insurgent attacks and thai no Afgh*-is completely free of the insurgent*
In our view, after five years, regime control is treater than ii was in9 in Konarha. Kapisa. and Kiif.il Provinces because of eitensive andSoviet operations and the flight of civiliansakistan ors signifiesn'.ly test,r. in faryab, Jowijan, Balkh, Sainsiigatt. Baghlan, fahhar. Kondur.nd Hclmand Provinces. Thc insurgents have made minor gains in lhe rest of thepi in piovincr* in which the regime presence wo* alreadyiovincial capital ai ihc ume of the. invasion.
Cosua'nei On the bai't of sources of varyinewe believe thai ihe insurgent* have sufferedCO0ver ihc pasi five year* Thehowever, does not account for casualties among civilian sympathizers wjioaid the insurgents with
Afghanistan: Insurgent Versus Govcrnmirii Control ol LocalS4 '
Sonet and regime surveillance networks andalso hamper the insurgents. C.
'ouP* base-Tin the ecmiTiryside must onen.senO boys or old raenjnto the cities to gather information or procure supplies, rearing lhat men of other ages will be ident.tied or eonicripied.C
intelligence and pro-iilon of food and jhelter. and thus,ense, belong lo ihe insurgency. Because medical care ii is limited, the insurgent" kilied-to-wounded ratio is very high. We believe civilian deaths from -he fighting mayO.OfK
Weaknesses in local leadership and economicffltpe il difficult for ihc insurgents toohesive force or pursue sustained objectives. Part-time insurgents uiually cannot be spared fromproduciion for lortg periods; some groups fear heavy casualties lhal would make it even moreto sustain agriculture. Many groups ceaseduring ihe winter, when bad weather limits mobility. Rivalries amonglans, and religious and political factions result in bloody bickering and hinder effective military coordination. Rivalriesslami and Ihc Hijbi Islam i. forpie. have hampered operations andefforts of Masood's Panjsher Valley insurgent! '
The threat of air and artillery re;alialion on civilian* prevents guerrillas from continuing operationsncleIn the.countiyside. insurgeiiii sometimes cease opcoiinnc to avoidagainst nearby
Despite ihe improvement ir. Ihe insurgents* weapons and skills, we believe they are still handicapped by lack of expertise with -capons such as rockets and mortar* as well as by occasional shortages of weapon-ry and ammunition. The thousands of vehicle losses testify to iheir skills with mines and antitank rockeis. but they still have little technics! knowledge ofand bow to use them for maximum effect. Despite improved supplies, insurgent groupssuffer from uncoual distribution of weaponry and ammunition
Thus far, Ihe insurgents have not beenby shortages of food.
Food shortages, especially in rural areas, sometimes occur because of local Crop failures, djsiri-buiion problems, private stockpiling and hoaiding.
and thetorage. Local
cate that the destruction of crops and farms Caused by military operations afleetsmall portion of cultivated land. Food supply would deteriorate if the Soviets embaikcdeliberate crop desirueilon policy and if increasing numbers ofere dislodged from their lane
The Afghan resistance continues to be hamperedack or overall unity, despite initiative* io achieve that objective. We believe the absence or an organiiation able to speak for ihc resistancehole limits iis eltorls to influence international opinion, too.ee in negotiations on an Afghan setllcmeni. to ensure continued diplomatic and material simoon, and to coordinate military efforts.
I icon- 2
Conlrol in ihcQHrUa
ul lb* Solicit andAfghan Regime
(oats in Aft. hian; (hanged little since iht invasion. The Soviets ate seeking loituation where lhe Afghan Communists can rule on iheir ownarge Soviet militaryand do to at ihe lowest possible cost in urnti of Soviei livra and resources We believe the Soviets lealiic thai aceemplishing thit goal .tonires both potiucal aad military mecseici lhal lomSre mililary sopprca-saon of ihe resistance with loisfo term efTons ioewof more eHeetive Commumtt leaden
The primary Soviet goal in Afghanistan is too-ictoomini-.rd regime This enables Moscow to.
inimum, entuie against chaos and anarchy or llie emergenceun her fundamentalist Islamic state on Soviet bolder*
baawrc thaio drastic setback to Soviet international peeing; that would follow the fall of the Afghan Maiaiits.
toiwi TheSo-ir.-. grailualii increased their role
in combined OpenliOiv- with toe Afgjian Anny ind
iiilMf.iniitii tactics to suit's ceunlcnnsargciKy
The Soviets generally have icl>cd on wurl'operations vo stereotyped thai thrample -ii'nd idepart U. heAf.li(tMrtm,mi Soviethai madedrVult tocohcr small oociatiam According rc
Mgn-ouiivoc ooentsing during ihe Panjsiscr Ville, campaign ia sprintat inaccurate and ineffective Soviet iaielligcnce apparently (ailed io; that moat guerrillas and their civilian up porteri had led ihe
egime thai is responsive to Soviei twiiiic.il and sitalegic concerns and enhance ooviet ability to apply military and political pressure on Pakistan, lean, and other icgional stales, reduce Western influence inregion, and contribute to isolating China
The So'icl Counter insurgency Ertoci
The shortcomings ol" tl- Afghan Army and the scope of the insurgency soonMoscow to shoulder much of ihe combat burden. The Soviets invaded sviih the intention of us.uk their forces to secure major cities, strategic civilian and tnilitarv facilities, and
ioi line* uf communication, f
i) Soviei forces intended to leave as much of theas possible lo theim
The Soviets haveasic tactical military approaches, but io fat neither has paid off. After finding little initial success in large sweep operationshe Soviets resorted to small-unit actions. The change in tactics did not work well, and by1 the Soviets were again emphasising large sweeps. Increased use of hcliborne assaults in the finisher and Andarab Valleys in the spring4 had limited effect because olir intelligence on Insuf
gem posiinmi .sndnK .mil the Soviei forces
Eipandiag Soiirl Mililary Commitment Oxr ihc past year, ihe Soviets have made chanceslien approach to ihe war that suggest growingwith the stalemateew tesolve io gain ihc military inuianve. Ihc Soviets hase augmented their troop strength, introduced more capable artillery and aircraft, stepped up their efforts io restrictroutes increased pressure on Pakistan and Iran, and tried new or gam rat renal and laClicalio improve their performance Man* of tbe cha'.gei were iarspkmenicd after Komrantineplaced Vatriyui ihey were probably n. the planning stage for sense lime and almost certainlyeadership cornea sus thai more mmm* tmto make headway agamsi
In our opinion, tactical force adjustments have so far been implemented onimited basis andaterially improved the securityhc Soviets have not been willing to adopt ihe aggressive, noieniially costlyor rumple, low-aliitudc bombing andheir elTeciivcrseii against ilic insurgents
their foetelitrt. hiingi'S their Hoar, sieength. and launched their lorgeil military operation of ihtin tht Pon)shte Volley
art aggressive military cffori to U'itl infiltration routes from Pekisten and Iran, rtlottd restrictionsn-border strikes against iniur-rm lorgeil. and iltpptd up diplomatic pres-tort on Islamabad and Tthron to reduce iheir support for tht rmu; .mil
Signifttanily inrrtaitd iht number of missions their tat fortes fly in support ofground fortes in Afghanistan, for several days inht Sovittsfor theftrix timt ustd medium and light bombers flying from baits in Soviet Central Atia for saturation bombing of resistance targets in Afghanistan. The Soviets' ust of more aggrtftive Oir toellcl end improved coordination of air support vith ground oprtotions have been limited, however, by concern, about globing oirctafi losses.
a secondttack sauadtonpgraded oirpower acrosi tht border in ihe Turkestan Military District Thterfeeriw
Soviei filed-wing combai aueiafi in Afghanihe SL'fi is poniculartu^rtefu) in iuou.it n<errain hreausr of itsload and high iiieneutrah'lity
older SO'iei hrl. opiers by newer variant:
nf Ml-Bl "ilh more powerful enginesfr
firepower ond more modern.
imited number of special forces io assist in difficult smallur.it combat
Replaced and restructured some ground units to provide trtater locucal fltitbilily Ond improve firepower.
-ew phoiomapping unit oi Kabul thai moy improve Soviet iniclligtnct on ttrtoln ond insurgent posiliom.
' Deployed an Army-level radio-intercept regiment ic Kabul in the spring with advanced high-frequency tauipmenl capable of locating the positions of in-lurgtnl radio ironsmittecs in mountainous terrain end coordinating ar'-"nsarge number of field clement
Reluetint Algbancommtied Soviet and regimery has icmairtcd ineffectual overfive yeanIhe
regime it still troubled by ill inability to conscript sufficient soldiers and lo retain theii allegiance.in ihe Afghan ruling party affects all ranks of ihe armed forces but especially thc office' corps, li hinders ihe development of mililaty cohesion and lhe emergence of Competent,and inOtalc remains
Although the urmiimnateil to subdue Hit; Sire
o(oic iii sln-ri. iVrKnioi- mr.gh Oil tli!
e believe desertion raiesootyear.report lhat shortages of
equipment, low equipment-readiness rates, and the technical inability of many soWier* to use much of lhe available equipment diminish th: military'sin operations Tht Alghan intelligence service.
KHAD. baSKinlinucd losuller (mm (artinnfttisDi * 1
eview ol Afghan forces. Soviet Delrnse Mini.'tcrfirst OepulyMinister-KemtnKrtlcti (ha: Afghan troops were
Changes in lb* Soiiel Aii Order ol*
1 nble 1
tsli.tiated Afghan ArmyIII* Soviets >tqu.pu>cnl lwi
HN-I- WW -
bclKvt iWkioiuioi tin minimum iiibki io
cctncitdmon lildriwtiieclaimiitd nuipnvni
' SovietoBbilin A'f rooliu*imiiii
clMfrdIC-lli. IISU II.U lit
io implement retime programs in more lhan two-thied* of ihc country. Even io areai of regimeSoviciiiaiion measures hive failed lo develop significant support for ihe Afghan Government:
ill trained, unready for combat, andbearing or discipline, ^
i meetin; isO Afghan held comma
"senior oo*ie> adviirr accusedmiimry of being cowardly in battle, havingaltitude, and lacking ihc will tounits often participate in joint operationsSoviets but frequently leak wotd uito the resistance and dcacn underSovici cob-
mancen taae eaieimve precautions io try to prevent Afghan informants from passing operationalto thend the Soviets hare increai jngly conducted independent ooriattoni '* "'event damaging leaks of,
Tbe Frastiuind Sovietia lion Process Rcporling from numerous sooccea ijmI hal the Sonet cffoei to Kani'ocei Aff lunula*eliable Ceimrrranisi chcni slate is having Iritlc impactecurity prevent! Communist -euhers Irom Hying
The Afghan education system, which9 reachedore thanercent ol ihe school-age topulalion. aocoiding to Wesiern observers, nownitler preporiion of the pop*on andistrailed.
Ii is often countero send Afghans to ihe USSR for training, since ihey frequently become aniigoniied rathee than iridocirinaicd. Upon return, many cannot Und positions to spread regime influ-fTtr-w, and become Cynief1esult, according lo
Soviet and Afghan media are mi-llnine inttru menu for indoctrinating Afghans because ofilliteracy, dittiusl of govcanmcnr controlled lewrcea. (e'.gm-jind adherence to tiadi toaal value*
The Kabul regime has bougbionly icmpoaaiy loyal ties by bnberv am* icmporary iiikcsthe iniurgcnl.
The Se- ICipfimtrAfghan iteom
irv .cin- hai rombined military pressure with conciliatory pdticy chongei intended to wtnpoputor support ond thus frru'r long-term control- The Soveti epportntly O'e applying lessons learned in Central Alia duett* ihe bumichi Ibaodtt) rebellion, ogalnsi the Bolsheviks following the7 revolution that laud until the. Sot'ei medio toll Afghan reiiitonet fighters bumichi-.
a derogatory term with the implieetion of unprincipled
that Mo now ttoxperience! ii, Central Alio and Afghanistan.
There art many similarities bei-een the two eeilitanec effort 1
In both lemoned the Soviets trndtresitmaltd the tilt and intimity of the resistance end blundered through the first years of the fighting.
Rtliltanc* is Islamic centered, but without ideology: lhe chief obltcitvt it to expel the Soviets, who thetattn the traditional way of life.
Rcllstance coruitts af numerous smalt ttibal groups with narrow, local alms.
Fighting ts mainlymoll leele with retiitonce groups ambu/hing Soviet uniti end attacking garri-
sans, then taking refuge in the mountain'.
Thc me/or weakness af the ttststance Is lack of
organitetion ond Intcrnteine fighting, with Splits along teibal lines.
Tht Soviets moderate Communis! rule end soften policies moil enlagonhlic to local religion, custom, andas increasing women's rights: land reform; and non-1tlooilc-basid educational, government, and legal syilemi.
The Soviets use troopi, dividc-and-rule tactics,of Soviet institutions, tolerance for lilo*arrot and stick policies to control tht countri
Otieite their Similarities, tht So-'rrs so foe have foiled
uccrstfuUt<.autll the Afghan 'distance. Religion has not been neuieolued as an issue, nor has tetbat support
been inured foe the Kobut regime. Oaiic diffeeenecS
the two insurgencies help to explain the lack of P'Ogms:
Central Alia hod been subsect toc before the Bolsheviks iplet oetunomed potieeni.had never been weldednified stole under foreign control and was only lightly controlled from Kabul
Central Alio had succumbed to Invasions throughout lis hlitory: Afghanistan had always resisted external forces.
The Balikevih Initially respected Muslim figures on their Side-most died Inamps later; the Afghan Cemenuaisti we detrlbaliied. atktlttlewho failed to sec the value of building broad coalitions tn the opening phase of the revolution.
was new in: when It reached, some of ihc local population
wire children and grandchildrenwho had fled the USSR and were raised on family mtmo rits of hatred fee the Soviets.
Although Sonet medio hove in rrcrnl yearsold fhaegts of British and American aid to teiira-Chii. the resistanceears ago was largely isolated and self-sustaining. The Afghan gutrrillas get aid ond shelter from Pakistan. Iran, end other nations.
The Soviets have been unable io build an effective Muslim fighting forte to counter the 'alliance. The appearance of the Muslim Red Army in Turkeitan in theonsiderable psychological impact on the local population and led to the acation of native Muslim militias. The Afghan Army IIfew Soviet combat troops ore Muslims, and thc regime has hnAtucccsi recruiting tribes to farm mllllta Willi
ermobstacles toSoviciiiaiion Include
jof resistance to foreign domination
ils.rull Of Cf"*'militntiOoS
ncmpti to change traditional *ays Afghans wiotlvf Scict society ai well at thc Soviet picscnci
TV I'Nale'iPaitj ol
The Sovieti arc nooin Ibe* were9 to resolving the split in thc Peoole's Democratic Party of Afghiniitan. which is the princtjval inurnment for reshaping thc AfgVGovernment aod society along Sov.et line* The schism bet-een the Pareham (Ban-
haha(Maiseslinethniccauted armedfrom Ihe military, eollaboiailon wiihasstttiatalioni. and diwinon offrom the lasts O* formulating andgovernment
Impact on Ihe
. Alghrmoaii Las entailed vignifi Can* rmliiar j.ad>OMi tea iha tvSSl* tW twina
lbe>fimv ik Suvk'vre il-in
lalia l' iih hi- ili. ii ui" hi
m * ioni- iIk 'iiii,
limlit On iheacenrdin; to accounts iT.
i accept Iherational;cc-.nii.'i MnsrVemem mand new
Morcewer. Ihe international ecus ofellable regime aie greaterremainln-mi Certainly txlicx ihai
acceptanceettlemeni that did net prescne the Communist regime in Kabul woolc have an even rncre damaging mteinational impact than continued occu-Mi ion. weakening their inltrnai>onali edibility as aa aHy. ard encouraging live Westncreasef le rein around Ihe globe.
Impact on ilwMilitaij Tktkr /Vghrrag VVehai Soviei casualties andet-eiurrc of con tern to the leadership and ihii ctctiochosen "iih an eye lo minimum; them For eisniplc. SoviH bomberi cenduct HUgfcl fiom alii-laaScS loo high to permit precision boanbmg. iheIcadcrirupgicii wiui-iii to atvciad -asset, and mow So-vri- generall,-hiti.clucta-ee lo Chase iIknn imn Ihr lulttil DaHlidc the nrnlecnon of
their armored vehicles On ihe bat i .
" we ettimate that Scn>ei casualties since ihe invasion amount to aboutne third ol whom were killed. Inadequate incdieal care in Ihc
field mikes the Sonet kilted to-wounded into (Icomparable to lhe US eapcricnce in World Warmuch highct than the Iratio the United Statu eiperienced during ihe Vietnam war. Afghan retimeia obi lodgment, hire sufferedasualties. Adding to Soviei problems, according lo reliable sources, arc an inadequate water supply. inthRicicn! preventive medicine, and poor sanitary procedures, which have resultedigh incidence of disease actions Sovieieehaos triple ihcof combat casual!ies
ana" Eauipmrnl Laiiti. EspeiicrtCC and the influx raj heavyni andissiles have made thc irtsaiigents more adept at protecting ihem-servu from air attacks and ai shooting down Soviet and Afghan aircraft. Wc believe thai aircraft losses beiin lo Increoic
9 the Soviets and Afghani have lost moreelicoptersd-wing aircraft in com-bai. Soviet and Afghan equipment losses including armoredrucks, ran into the thoosaradt (sec figure 5;
AforaJeliiKifliat. The strains of Ihcin Afghanntaa have worsened moraleproblems among Soviet conscripts whoThe Army's inefficiency in providingpotable water, clothing, shelier. andcar: tear irooos has contributedoleNeverthe-
less,and discipline problems havemanageable, andorce of someat not significantly retraced the rwcrait readiness of Ihe Soviet military
The Soviei military's outlook onesting ground for arms and military tactics probably itmall but growing group of career military personnel now have combatence Despite continuingroblems in applying costntei insurgency techniques in Afgharustaa. the So-victi have learned tome lessons about the performance of specific weapons and equipment lhat may be helpful eliewherc. Although some of the lessons being learned ia Afghanistan could apply in Other Semet eouateiinsurgency campaigns in the Third World, the miarc of Afghanistan and of the conflict and Soviet
Afghanistan: Soviet/PICA Aiirraft Lnsses.Prcsem
ind incflcciivcncss probably limii ihe relc-YitiM o* 'hit eapcrience ioIn Europe orIhcaicri onSoviet planning it tvimaiily focuvet
Foe Moieo- tb<costslh<inhave been mMh higher than evermilitary cipcnditurcs iaercent ol th* USSR'* annual outlay
cfllfllatl me Direct oovct mtMaiy "nil ot me trmMtr*4 atillion
The military omitncreased t'n-ly overol the war. in our new. Manpowerenerally ttatxlucd aliee rvurag 3
lot theUcatvipmeninrafcui en lent io aicC'tcnt ol tliete an icptaccnKiiilm jircraft CMUCiil'r h'licoriei-
Preea rations foe the invaiion temporarilytie cmliaa economy inpaw nocth of Afghanistan Trncittroop* and supplies into Afghanistanihe civiliandled tome
Military pnoniici in Afghanittaii
periodically disrupt IntlMrNtiM and em* tl ructionsamebut
overall tbetc disruptions have" on the Sc-iet civilian
In addition to these coin. Moscow has had to provide indicated economic S'lpportfghanistan since the invasion9 The Soviet Union has largelyWestern tenden and donort. delivering aboulillon ia ccoaomMincluding aboul II brflian ia graaat0 M0 million Indevelop-mcnt inula nee. The) also seiiled an outstanding Afghan debt of SlOO nwUion in needed hard currency
Woion aid. nseanwrule, hat declinedlmostIhc Soviets importillion cubic meters ;nonly major irtdutiry. Motl of theto io pay lor Soviet impom or repay pceicvolu-lionary debtshc USSR.
lhat returning casualties irons
Afghanistan cooiinuc to trigger isolated popularagainst Ihc government. Reports from teiurnioj:be contrast bciweets -hai ihcy rcll and -hat Soviei mediaincreased popular cynicism aboul regime propaganda. Western visitors report lhat ordinary Russians do not relish risking the lives of their children in Afghani-nan, and Ihc lack ofa coverage of the casualties indicates thc regime is sensitive V> their
Events in Afghanistan, along with those inIran, have increased regime concern about the loyalty of Soviet Central Asians. Inoicow lecturerublic audience that Islameriou* internal problem and that the regime waSworried about the impact of events in Afghanistan on Soviet Tajiks. In addition, there ire reporis that members or other ethnic groups in the USSR complain they areisproportionateShare of tbe combai burden. (Because of local mobili-jaiion, Central Asians -ere prominent among tbe Soviet invasion force, but the ethnic breaHdeiwo of Some!now appears to reflect the populationhole, f
"Soviei media have acknowledged increased classresulting from the fact that children of the elite can avoid service in Afghanistan. Thc leadership has alto publicly shown concern over tbe growingof youthrhe USSR because of lire Soviet inveslvemen'
The Afghan' Clancr
The compilationncome statistics foe Afthairiiiononsiderable degreef the information it unavailable or unreliable. The government'i lack oj access to much of the countryside and the fort that most of the food production it for on-fetr- 'Onsumption Cmpli-cote ihe task. Using official government statistics. International Monetary Fund cttimatet. and other soutcei.hare compiled iht following list of key economic statistics:
- - fS
To limit the impact of these problems, the regime has:
Sought to dilute popular skepticism about theby playing up US in-olvemeni and em pha si ring lite dangers io Soviet security of an insurgent victory.
Punished mililary officials who engage in black marketeerinc or perform ineptly and rewarded those who served well with highet pay. betier benefits, decorations, and faster promotions. Many senior officers appear to have been promoted following service in Afghanistan.
involvement In Arghanittan has temptedinto illegal activity and introduced elementspopulation io new kinds of drug abuse. Thereseveral major contraband scandalsand hundreds ol.tha: "cn-icl
fghanistan regularly barter gai ami military CQuinnicm for Icstsd. scarce consume! goods, and hashisl
Appealed to ihe patriotism oi Mdtnary Soviets by more candid media coverage of cctidiliOns Soviet tloops face there.
Ctacked down on elite draft dodgeri by tightening draft deferments
Afghanistan: CbaAging TradefM'
Launched ne- efforts lo improve discipline wiihin Uie mililary and combat ihe problem Ol* youth alienation.
Increased anlireligious propaganda in SoviciAsia.
Taken steps lo relieve ethnic tensions, particularly in (he military.
So'ic/ Popular Protests Agdi-.it the War
Reports of Soviet popular protests againstere more freoucnt shortly after
indicate that spontaneous, short-lived popularogainit the war occurred, generally in responsehe sight of coffins returning from eported demons! aiions0 in Alma Ato. Tashkent. Dushanbe, and oiherciliet in Soviet Central Asia. Subsequently, antiwaroccurred In the Baltic republics. Ukraine. Aierbaifan. and the RSFSR. In the most recent report inC ' laims to hove learnedenior military officer thai relatives of the killed and wounded burned the militaryIn0 kilometers east ofnoviet P MearnedfromtL yTASS end Novosli that they have receivedOf letters from Soviet citizens complaining about easualiiei ond asking for further explanations of Soviet policy.
Charges of criticising the occupation of Afghanistan hove figured in the trials of Soviet dissidents. Andrey Sakharov and other dissidents condemned theItsakharm was arrested five day, after his interview with Western media and exiledorkly. An unusual Incident of dissent within}oscow Radio announcer. Vladimir Oonthev. atteeed official news broadcasts Onfor foreign audiences to express opposition to Soviet involvement.
Cracked down on Afghan drug Uaffiekers and tighicncd security to prevent drug imports into (he USSR. -
We believe thesewith the relatively limited human and financial costs tokept the war's domestic political and social consequences under control
Inlentaiiorisl Impact of (be Soriel fn.olrement
The international community imposed unprecedented economic and political sanctions on the USSR,Of the invasion of Afghanistan, and these enduced much longer than sanctions imposed after othci Soviet international misdeeds. Sovici actions
einforced international perceptions of Soviet aggressiveness: fueled inereaied Wctiein, Clilneie. and Japanese defenieade Third World countries more war. of Sovietnd ham-pcred Mraseow's efforts tocapLaii the Nooaligrtcd Movemcm. In Southwest Alia in particular, (he tnvi. iron of Afghanistan disrupted Soviet effort* toIhe Itlamic retrme in Iran and turned Pakistanajor supporter erf tbe Afghan resistance C'
Moscow doe* not hke being rcgalaHy eondemnod ini.ted Naiions because erf it* Afghan rViriea, but ti ha* reasoe to believe that it hot weathered thc -earn erf the later national censure. Last veae moil erf the remainingal bad chilled relatfora with lhe USSR beea vie of cents in Af(haoi>Un moved to reiumt more nor-ial economic and politica) contacu.
The Current Mood in Moscow
3Thc situation in Afghanistan does nat figure prominently in the public
or the privaie remarks of the Soviet leadership Moreover, ihe leadership hat recently promoted tome' key military figuresit can be argued, are most rtiponilble foe ihc USSR's lackgfeit. Newly apooutied Defense Mmnter Soeoiov. Chief erf the General SiaH Akhromeyev. and Commander ot* ihe Sowihern Theater of Malkary Operationsome to theie jobs .Her having tpem the better pat of Ihe past five year* grappling with ihe war in Afghanistan Ii teems anhkely lhal Iheymoicd had there been (undame.-lal leadership dissatisfaction with ihe.ror the Strategics they have fenierwei* "
middle-lcel diplomatic and mill-
tary oflieiais. -nr may or may not accuratelyviewi erf the senior leadership C JiavcprsiiimttiCear. For eiampU
C ll< failure last spring.ocatc am) OemO) UN 1'anj.her. romance- -the hey objective of the Ilia campaignfrustration in " led toruinm - theamm
eawie of Ihc
any middle.level mil,.C JotTieialt la miliar -rill .he situation now nciieve Hie -ar isuppon tin. juogmcni^lhey cited tne fact that less than JO percent of Afghaottun it iijjoveroment hands, the insiIrgenTt are becoming more numerous and better trained, and Soviet losses arc increasing /
It is possible that thc leadership has aappieeiaiwoo ihe Soviei potiiion -nfirst.indieaiet that
offK-ih in Kabul regu^any report K> Moseo- lhat more progress is being made than is actually ibc case Second, ihc Soviet leadership, like mowlites thai haveigh priceolicy thai is not working, probably is reluetaoi io admit itistake and face Ihc consequences that might result. Third, Soviei ideology dictates thai most people want ihe kind of resolution the Afghan Communists arc atttmpting to impose, and the Soviet leadershipcaonot accepi tlie proposition that ihc Afghan people do not wantevolution, finally, and perhaps moil imponam. the Soviet leadership hitteady depiction in its ranks during Ihc pan five years, and the ill health of successiveSecretaries and their need lo address mor; pressing problems at home and abroad probably have limited ihe time ihey devoted to thc Afghan rxoWerr
Tha new CPSU General Secretary.ll other top leaders, hai avoidedcomment cm Afghanistan in public At ain the leadership Court Ibc last year.bat presumablyg ire erflo ear rent Soviei goals andn
its policy inward Afghanistan He -ould naturally wuh lo solve the Afghanittan problem in some way. but. while he it consolidaling his power in the Soviet leadership over thc neil year or so. hetrong political interest in avoiding positions that might make him look weak or open him io eharget ol adventurismere fore, docs nm teem to have an immediate interest ino revise Soviet goals aid itratrg.
Wc believe the li(hnni in Alghanistan will iwum in intensity in the nenyen" The more aggitsiivc
laCliCIOf Ihc pail year lie Mel.ontinue.
ind tbe invu'eeiii *ic likely to dcmoaMciir gieater aggretcinncts and stillihey receive Seiieiand more training. Soviet casualties and equipment lotves will continue ioinerra.se. althoughnless Moscown more aggrramr Strategy
The Sovieti probably calculate thait be able to adjuli to improve ne nn ia insurgent strengthn an unacceptable mcreaic in casualties We aic likely tolight increase in force structure in the near term, perhaps)0 men These i'e likely lo include mostly specialiicd fo'cc* such as airborne troops, security battalions, sad mix bile combat and support units
We belt eve thc Soviets will place more emphasis on effons lo halt insurgent tnfilliation. mahrough greater use of airpo-cr along Afghan botdecs with Pakistan and Iran. More bombing of suspectedrouies. cfToets to uuuj'adc intelligence hy use al mure informants and remotendpecial forces lo ambush insurgent con>oys arc all likely. The Soviets may also aiicmpt to increase their presence near the border,in is by regime forceso the tab have not been suceciafii'
Lest likely, the Semis (night try to radically improve performance byew additional divisionsposiibly SI many0 me:t-reate efforts to garrison and hold large areas niter sweepuch an increase, however, wouldthe kinds of regular ground force units that have been leastve to far. Moreover, the unitshJo be merbtkied and provided withnaming andlogisticprocess ihai would take many months We believe that inituation the Soviets would be likely to consider hrger incursiom into Pakistan uethan we haveut far
Nc veil he lets ihc Sovieti. in oarare unlikely to
makeiogren io-ird quelling the insurgency in liteei't Gi*ca ihe mouniainout lerraia aad the numeious passes ihrewghr-ii ibe rjcacScr area, we bel.evt iVn evenaadditional divisions the Sovirt force Icvcl-wauldJlC too small lo stem insurgent irfillnlion appreciably Although ihccan diivc intuigrnts from any >iea temporarily and will occasionally score victoriesit individual bands, ibeybe unablestlbl ih control over much of the country ( "
We do not believe ike Soviets forcaa* an earlyfghanistan or have any compelling reasoneel one. In our view, they probably clinghe hopethe dismal icsulis thustheir efforts to buy support for ihe Kabul regime, rebuild the Afghan armed forces, and seek converts by pornoting social and economic reforms will even-tually bear frW
The Soviets piobibiyhai. with the exceptionew leaders tuct as Masood. moil insurgent Cvn-.mandris can carry out military operations but have no disciplined political cadres capable of build-ing an underground political and adminiiiraiivcThey probably see many insurgent leaders as local "ii lords who would like TO ge' Soviet forces out ofut who also are ocTViunuii seeking to gei whu ibey can from both sides. Thc Soviets believe that most Afghans are apathetic and that war wnaiineis mil gradually erode the insurgents support
Although Ibe temptation in Kabul io becomeaccept Ihc Communist regime willai the younger generation grows up withof regime pervasiveness, thecontinued Outsidelikely toin Sovietieation in the countryside overterm Insurgent morale has remainedwhen evidence of war
ikxnif hi> ol emigration rathei lhan10
the Communeslt and It* foreign onadcnAI (kjii remittance* insuperable Ai ihc sime. although iv olutioncoopcialnan and coord-cat'ii among command in various pain ol Ihe country it likelyontinue. Ihe myriad difTci-encei thai have long divided Afghani -ill prevent ihe formaii.io of an organisation cohereni enoughational effort againsi Ihe Sovielt
Prospects forpolitical icitlemeni arc dim. The Scmctt contend thai the-snbe leaved pufciicallT. but ihey reenaiaihe^edtmano>cgoinicd Kllhvmeni We believe Motto- -illte ihe Uh ialki ot. Afghanistan to porn ay itself al responsivenlcrna-lional em limn and probe for ecmcctiioni by Istam-abad. bui ihe inability of any Soviet-barked icgtme lo iurvivr without ih* presence of Soviet iroopa render* Ihe paiholitical settlement highly pen lout Islamabad -ill feign interest inelieve Sovici pressure |
Iran it rata likely io eteoorne an irraportaatt factor ia the Afghan ronmet to long as it continwes to limit in support to pro Khomemi group! C
An Alternative Scenario: Communiil Bute Is Threatened
We cannot rule Out aserious dctcrtfraiion of ihe Soviet position in Afghanistan lhanave estimated aboveeterioration could occur if ihc iiuui-gents improved then- coordination, adjusted then lac-lies, and iinmilaied increased outside assiltancecadly thanniicipaie. Tins train of evenn would probably lorce ibc SovtelS into another bancf iheir optioni in Afghanistan. Wc believecriout Challenge to Soviet iutc in Kabul vouldove, nota political settlement, bui toward an capanrfed Soviet iniltlatyide*
II the Sovie' hold in AfgliamMan -ere w* du run ruleuch more lira tilt rcin'orxmcnl lhanitcaitvco
mcreate eVoen mightiheto clear and AoU man* cities and large parit of thc countryside or block
lien Pakistan and lian although il
probably could netb Kcpoals of Soviet eslimatci ol ihe feme nc<ei,ary io teal the borJer *rth Pakistan have vaccd from nine to IT divisions.
even larger rem force meaten probably weuld alkow Moscow to make senous inroads agairui ihe insurgency, if thefild be
Eiiher of ihtse npnont wo%ld roanongmOO.Ueat.on al n
Soviet Centraliantor cement of Soviet iroopi would substantially raise the political ano economic coils of the war. but wc believe Moscow would bear them rather than face the consequenceiictory by the iniufgcnct |
Ailbe Solicit Prevail
Some dosefghanistan, among them strong supporters of thc reaiiiancc. eelteve thatwill inevitably prevail in Afghanistan. Basingjudgment! oa open hitratwre.abul, andof Afghan society. Iheaeargue ihai Soviet eltwts toiable regime in Kabul are making slow but Steady progress. They assert that divnioas among the resistance g'Oupi will prevent themmnviding an alternative to Ihe pro-Sovieti
Dialing on otiiovjiioni in Kabul aid
Willifllijll. tin ifmiiiilit
thousand*tinge uplnow( dui of tht Communiit governmer.i.re convinced lhalrmy alreadyott ol highly motivated junior officii and it gradually incicitirig ill effeetiveneii They alto tharc the Sovietthat thc insurgents have no capability tod administrative tliaclurc lhal could lulc Afghani-tun and tuigcil that war wcarineti -ill inctcaiinglv erodeor the into genu
Wc bcline that that vie* aateWrcajliautct mturgtri mtxak and miliary ptrfcaraaocc in Afghaaitian aad ciaggcratca Ihc progrcii offlon to Sonct-uc the country W< believe that Tinn caToeu to implement their political programarge Kale will remain handicapped by the continuing lack of security
in the countrytidc
Ncvcrthclcii. trl cannot rule out grcaicr progress than arc predict by (heolitical and military infrastructure in Afghanistan. Thiiwould be mote likely if Soviet pecuute or internal irntlbility in Pakistan rciulicdove by Itlamaliad to limit ill tuppurl lor the retiilancc. Even lo. the Sovieti could not completely pacify ihe rnuntry andirable number of lo'ccOriginal document.