Tuesday, July 21, 2009

West ignores lessons of Soviet humiliation in Afghanistan

Its Afghan war spelt disaster for the USSR and now Nato is making the same mistakes

Times Online


It was an agonising process that marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire and eventually the USSR itself. “How to get out of this racks one’s brains,” Gorbachev despaired to his fellow Soviet magnates in the spring of 1986. He told his generals later that year: “After all this time we have not learnt how to wage war there.”

When the last troops left on February 15, 1989, about 15,000 of their comrades had been killed. It was the only war the USSR lost. To Gorbachev, one vital issue was how to “spin” it correctly. As he wrote to his key aides during the last phase of the retreat, presentation was key: “We must say that our people have not given their lives in vain,” he said. "

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