The War In Afghanistan

Soviet Strategy and The State of the Resistance

by Alex Alexiev


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This paper was originally presented as a statement to a hearing on Afghanistan held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington, D.C., September 26, 1984. In it, the author discusses three dimensions of the Soviet strategy to defeat resistance and consolidate its rule in Afghanistan: (1) The military dimension's most striking feature is the growing evidence that it may not be designed to secure a purely military solution through a decisive defeat of the resistance forces. (2) The economic dimension, perhaps the most serious threat to the resistance, has resulted in the destruction of a large part of the most productive land. (3) The political dimension has an internal goal of winning over some elements of Afghanistan society, and an external goal of removing the Afghanistan issue from the international political agenda. The author concludes that the effectiveness of the resistance could be improved considerably through streamlining the international aid effort.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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