Talk:Soviet–Afghan War/Archive 2

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Information box description of war's outcome

There is zero accuracy in asserting (as only one editor appears to) that this war was a "stalemate." The mujahideen achieved every one of their objectives: 1.) Calling Afghanistan a "bleeding wound," Gorbachev was forced to order the departure of Soviet troops; and 2.) The mujahideen then went on to topple the communist-backed government that Moscow had supported, assuming leadership of the country. I cannot even really imagine what more one would ask of the mujahideen in substantiating that they won the war. Had the Soviets stayed, had the mujahideen not toppled the government, or had the post-Najibullah government not been taken over by the mujahideen, I suppose this assertion might possibly be accurate. But none of those things happened.

Also, Kenmore: I do not wish to be confrontational, but you cannot persist in labeling others' assertion that the mujahideen won this war as "simplistic," or instruct other editors not to edit the page so it can be left to "experts" (which presumably is you alone). You are trying to sustain a hugely unconventional historical interpretation that is not conventional wisdom and not broadly held. Even many Soviet leaders in the war now concede that they lost the war. I listed about seven major citations in support of this position that have been removed. I easily could have added a hundred more.

I believe the word "stalemate" needs to be removed. A more accurate representation is: "Soviet withdrawal, mujahideen military victory." Even this description is generous in not using the word "loss" to describe the Soviet outcome in the war. Afrique (talk) 01:11, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

In this latest post, you repeat the same claims that you made in your earlier posts. Given that I already addressed and rebutted these claims (in detail) in my earlier posts, I see no need to repeat myself here.
The following is my response to those statements in your post that are new.
Much of the international press misunderstood what Gorbachev meant when, during his speech at the Twenty Seventh Party Congress in 1986, he called Afghanistan a “bleeding wound”. Gorbachev meant that the Afghanis themselves had suffered a “bleeding wound” because of the horrific destruction and massive civilian casualties the war had inflicted on them. Gorbachev was calling attention to the humanitarian aspect of the war, and in so doing, he was indicating that the Soviet Union shared the blame for turning Afghanistan into a “bleeding wound” for the Afghanis. He was inferring that the Soviet Union undermined its own moral authority by keeping an army in Afghanistan. Not in any way whatsoever did Gorbachev mean that the Soviet Union itself had suffered a “bleeding wound”, or that the Soviet army was being bled by excessive casualties in Afghanistan.
Regarding other editors who have contributed to this article, please note that many of them completely concur with my views. Unfortunately, those editors have stopped posting on this page because of their frustration at not being able to reason with other editors who do not understand what really happened in the war.
As for Soviet leaders, I know for a fact that not a single one of them regards the Afghanistan conflict as a military defeat for the Soviet Union. If you are certain that you know otherwise, please respond to this post with a link to substantiate your claim.
Kenmore (talk) 06:08, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Soviet withdrawal section

There is a strange sentence that no one has caught in this section: [[Babrontrol of Afghanistan were Soviet puppets.[58]. What is it, and should it just be deleted?Ykerzner (talk) 04:43, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Soviet conduct of the war

This article is in dire need of a comprehensive section about the soviet conduct of the war. The strategy and tactics of the Insurgents, as well as the terrible loss of life endured by the civilian population are well described, but the strategy and tactics employed as well as countless atrocities committed by the soviet forces are barely mentioned. Someone needs to fix this! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Soviet terror bombing and scorched earth tactics are well-described in the section "Damage to Afghanistan". If you have any reliable sources about other atrocities they committed, feel free to add them. --dicttrshp (talk) 06:18, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
An expansion of "Damage to Afghanistan" section should probably include a discussion of the tactical quandary the Soviets found themselves in, and how this problem was the chief reason for the high civilian casaulties. In responding to mujahideen mortar attacks, the Soviets unleashed artillery barrages and air strikes which inevitably killed many non-combatants. This is what Gorbachev meant in 1986 when he described Afghanistan as a "bleeding wound", and it is one of the chief reasons why the Soviets decided not to escalate their military presence in pursuit of complete victory, which they could have achieved. In other words, the humanitarian costs, the atrocities and the associated political turmoil made the war unwinnable.
Also, on the subject of the massive scale of civilian casualties, maybe another section should be added to this article describing what social and psychological impact the war had on the Afghan people. The trauma of the war, no doubt, created fertile breeding ground for brigands, terrorists, and jihadists of other sorts. This development ties in with what's happening in Afghanistan now, and its carry over effect for The West and Pakistan.
Kenmore (talk) 02:19, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Soviet Military operations

Theres very little in the way of information regarding Soviet military operations. Information is widely avaible both online and in books. Theres a article on the panjsher valley offensives that needs improvement plus a few small battles and the Withdrawal. Surely there was much more action. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:41, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Osama a "commander"?

To my knowledge, Osama bin Laden was never in command of any sizable force, or faction in the war. He was a foot soldier who also supplied many arms to the mujahedin to my understanding- why is he listed at a "Commander"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:06, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Afghan civilian casualties?

how many Afghanistan civilian casualties and deaths occured? Why is it not on this page? I've heard over a million civilians died in the Afghan-Soviet War.Tallicfan20 (talk) 05:04, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Lack of information about the war

War crimes, and allegations of war crimes, that were commited by both sides. The Soviet's bombing of Afghan villages, the mujahadeen's torture and murder of the Soviet POWs.

Terrorism and terrorist acts that were carried out by the mujahadeen? For example they used Stinger missiles to shoot down several civilian airliners, they also attacked public schools and murdered teachers.

The foreign jihadis who fought in Afganistan a.k.a "Afghan Arabs"? There were tens of thousands of them.

Afghan casualties? Afghan military casualties, Afghan civilian casualties, Afghan insurgent casualties.

Major edit on September 1st

I've noticed a major edit on September 1st, which basically re-wrote the article. It shifted more focus from actual invasion to political games around it, and it re-introduced a lot of slippery points. I wonder if we:

  • should salvage some of the information from the older edit into separate article for the actual invasion, which at this point accounts for less of the half of total text
  • bring back the war table
  • patch minor glitches

Adopted redirects for Google: The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Soviet Union Invasion of Afghanistan, The Soviet Union's Invasion of Afghanistan, Soviet Attack on Afghanistan, Soviet Union Attack on Afghanistan

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for a private mailing list 5 days or so after the September 11 attack. It has been updated for the Wikipedia.

BTW - The numbers in the What was Wagered and What was Accomplished section are taken from "A Quick & Dirty Guide to War" (ISBN 0-688-06256-3) by James F. Dunnigan and Austin Bay. The numbers in this book are a composite from many sources themselves. There exist [[ other sources]] for this information, no one source can be regarded as 'correct'. With all these caveats in mind, I do not believe that any of this information can be regarded as copyrighted, except with regard as to form, which I have changed from the original. I hope this is enough due diligence as to possible copyright issues.

Thanks much. Here's a quick question. If I screw up such an edit, and end up really causing problems with the DRoA page when I port their more detailed information here, (along with some of my own that I removed the first time - I figure better to be a bit too detailed than not enough if we are going through all the trouble of creating a special page and all.....) due to my inexperience and lack of faith in my own ability, what can be done? (Still having problems with those vicious run-on sentences! <GRIN>)

I took 'Be bold!' to heart, but I still feel uncomfortable with editing and moving material that obviously took someone a long time to put together. On the other hand, no one has replied to my post on the DRoA Talk page about these changer either. Sorry for so much hand wringing, I'm certain I will slowly get the hang of it. dobbs

For each page, we keep the previously saved versions. You can see them by clicking the History link on the left or bottom of your screen when viewing an article to get a list of them. If you screw up, we can still read the old version and use it to edit the new version, or if you really screw up (which I don't expect), we/you can just put the old back. So, just go ahead and edit! Jeronimo

Ok, the new info is up. This page isn't really just a timeline anymore, so I'm unsure if it needs to be renamed. I've changed the 'Soviet Invasion' heading into a link that points here, I'm not certain how to or what else I would point here.

Again, neutral POV insights would help. I've really tried to change much of it to be as neutral as possible. For instance, while EVERYONE I have ever read, spoken to personally, or heard of, accepts that the invasion and resulting war was unprovoked agression by the U.S.S.R. against the Afghani's - SOMEONE must of at least thought up the party line that they were 'helping out' their socialist brethren. Thus, my attempts to re-write all that. I hope my studied assumptions on Soviet geostrategic goals is not out of line. While it is written neutrally (I hope), it is still subjective (even if well researched). I think that is acceptable for an encyclopedia, is there something "official" in the Wikipedia universe (talk area perhaps?) to steer me towards? Thanks again.

Ed, I'm not sure if "supporters of the Soviet Union" is a correct statement to add as a qualification. Certainly right-wingers in the US have never supported the Soviet Union, yet they currently support the idea that the Soviet reaction to the Islamist issue on their southern border was prescient of our current troubles. Take their ambivalence toward the Russian suppression of Chechnya, for example..... Dobbs 00:26 Sep 19, 2002 (UTC) excuse me buddy, but there was no such fact as "Russian suppression of Chechnya". There was Russian military operation on the Russian territory against the international militants in Chechnya republic, the militants sponsored by international terrorist and Islamist organizations through Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Kingdom and USA. Two of the Chechen militant leaders accused of killings and plotting against democratically elected government of Russia are still living in UK. Any talks of "suppression of Chechnya" simply misguide the reader, not reflecting the state of events. I would advise you not to make such mistakes here furthermore. --Victor V V (talk) 03:02, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Label the advocates any way you want, as long as it's clear who's doing the advocacy. Some people support -- and some people oppose -- both the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the 2001 "War on Terror" that toppled the Taliban. I would rather see the various advocates identified, rather than some vague statement that "some" support or oppose a given act. --Ed Poor

The events that took place on the timeline after the 'Start of the Invasion' heading can all be given as the 'starting' point of the 'actual' war. Moving troops into enemy territory in order to remove the government is starting a war, even if it is sneaky and not realized. The same comment can be made about cutting telephone cables and removing equipment from service - all of those things are things that start wars as well. Thus my change. Dobbs 21:07 Dec 26, 2002 (UTC)

Upon looking again, NPOV looks better than I thought. Brain fart. Sorry. [[User::Williamv1138]]

Some of these anti-personnel mines were shaped like pens, or dolls, or other shiny trinkets, known as 'dolly bombs', intended for children to attempt to pick up." -- Was there ever any evidence of this? Sounds like an urban legend ... 11:55 Feb, 2004

This seems to be one of those insidious non-NPOV titles. The Afghanistani government invited the Soviet Union in, so I don't know where people get off calling this an "invasion". Of course, you can argue this point, or put points in the article, but don't try to stick your POV in the title. If this is to be called an "invasion", then we might as well talk about the US invasion of South Vietnam since it is the same scenario - a superpower invited in by the government. Either way, the title should be neutral, and not reflect one POV. -- HectorRodriguez 22:52, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

They weren't invited in. They sent troops into Kabul and deposed Hafizullah Amin and his government. It was clearly an invasion. Hans Zarkov 17:39, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You are wrong: they were repeatedly invited in, both by Amin himself when he came to power in September 1979, and his predecessors. Being not familiar with the facts doesn't automatically make it a "clear invasion".
The government of N. M. Taraki repeatedly requested the introduction of Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the spring and summer of 1979. ... On 14 April the Afghan government requested that the USSR send 15 to 20 helicopters with their crews to Afghanistan ... After a month, the DRA requests were no longer for individual crews and subunits, but were for regiments and larger units. On 19 July, the Afghan government requested that two motorized rifle divisions be sent to Afghanistan. The following day, they requested an airborne division in addition to the earlier requests. They repeated these requests and variants to these requests over the following months right up to December 1979. (ISBN 0-7006-1186-X)

Any proof that chemical weapons were used in Afghanistan?

No proofs whatsoever. Unlike U.S. in Vietnam and Japan, USSR never used chemical or nuclear weapons against civilians or regular combatants from rural regions.--Victor V V (talk) 02:45, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Not correct. Chemical weapons were used by the Red Army during suppression of Antonov rebellion.--SinisterCat (talk) 20:32, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Foreign supporters on infobox

Stop putting China, the United States and all the rest of these countries on the belligerents infobox. I have seen it happen twice in the recent days. They didn't participate in the war, and that is like counting Yugoslavia on the 1982 Lebanon War because they gave weapons to the PLO. --dicttrshp (talk) 06:31, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Grey Fox (talk) 10:05, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

This point is quite disputable. If the economic, intelligence and trainee involvement is large-scale, the participant should be included among the belligerents, even if the personnel involvement is not large. Compare this with the wiki's Vietnam war article, where USSR is listed among belligerents. According to the delineated definition, the multifaceted help of the USA to the insurgents was definitive and it should be listed among the combatants, while China's involvement was of secondary importance and it, thus, shouldn't be listed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Stingers capability

"shoot down Soviet jets and helicopters frequently, easily, and without loss on their own side" - not likely. It was not that frequently, NOT easily (on all accounts no more than 10% of missiles shot down anything, VVS changing there tactics constantly, modifying their aircraft and increasing operating altidude), and Stinger launch positions were heavily bombed afterwards and in process of air strikes. Also Soviet Special Forces were in constant search for Stinger teams, eventually capturing some missiles and launchers. From "Hot sky of Afganistan" - [1] (Russian): "Effiency of all jamming systems against MANPADs on Mi-8 helicopter was 70-85% (counted by number of misses and hits)" That was in 1982. Also total lossed in 1985 were distributed as following: 27% - small arms 40% - 12,7 mm DShK MG 27% - specialized AAA installations 6% - MANPADs

So I deleted the citation above. Stingers should be mentioned, of course. DarkFighter 04:59, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

What happened was, the presence of stingers forced the Soviet helicopters to fly a high altitude. Up there the effeectiveness of the stingers was about 10%, but that also limited the effectiveness of the helicopters. Jokem (talk) 01:49, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Substandard English in lead

The article is semi-protected, so I can't fix it. The first sentence reads: "The Soviet War in Afghanistan, also known as the Soviet–Afghan War or the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan; was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union supported by the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; established by the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) at their own request, against the majorly Pakistan-backed Islamist Mujahideen Resistance." Do administrators even look at what they're protecting? (talk) 06:26, 10 September 2009 (UTC) This is a serious embarrassment to Wikipedia on such a high-profile article. (talk) 11:25, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the note on my talk page. Exactly what is the problem? The word "majorly"? tedder (talk) 03:19, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
That's one of the problems - I suspect "primarily" was meant. Another is the misuse of semicolons, the first of which should be a comma. Finally, the clause "supported by the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; established by the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) at their own request" also misuses a semicolon, and mistakenly substitutes "their" for "its", but, more broadly, makes no sense. Whatever it is trying to say should be said in a separate sentence, unmarred by the passive voice. (talk) 06:34, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
As a semi-ignorant admin, can you rewrite it and post it here? I'll then copy/paste it into the article. Sorry you have been affected by the protection adversely. tedder (talk) 07:13, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

1800 tanks?

"In all, the initial Soviet force was around 1,800 tanks, 80,000 soldiers and 2,000 AFVs." So, there were something like 6 armored divisions? (300x6=1800) Creo11 (talk) 17:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Description of Democratic Republic of Afghanistan supporting "Marxist government"

The DRA had certain elements of communism, but was not truly was lunism by america bhenchod maan ke lorray Just look at the way that the uprising started. It was not a revolution of the proletariat working class, but a backlash by the millitant People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. This doesn't fit a main constraint of Marxist ideals, namely a revolution of the people not a splinter group. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Casus Belli

The Casus Belli is listed as the treaty of friendship between the Soviet Union and the government they installed in Afghanistan. Considering "Casus Belli" means "Cause of the War", I doubt that the cause of the conflict was a treaty of friendship between two allies, unless I'm interpreting this wrongly. Could someone either correct me or review this? Thank you 21:37, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

The Casus Belli was a the treaty of friendship between the Soviets and the Marxist Government. That "friendship" meant that the Soviets had cause to go to war because the Marxist government asked for their help against the conservative/religious mujahdeen, who were attacking the Marxist Government. This war was not the Government of Afghanistan vs. the Soviets, it was the government of Afghanistan + the soviets versus a counter-revolutionary Islamic insurgency/rebellion. Please keep in mind, I am describing, and I am not endorsing the motives or activities of any of these parties. -Samson —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 22 December 2009 (UTC)


I have removed the cliam of "Mujahedin victory" from the info box, because it is unsourced and because it is POV. There was neither a military nor a legal "victory" by the Islamists/Mujahedin. Quite the contrary: the Soviets were still in charge of the most important cities, had a large ground force in Afghanistan, and coordinated dangerous bombing operations.The final retreat and withdrawal had more complex (political reasons). The attached source in the article does not support the "Mujahedin victory" claim either. It speaks of the Soviet withdrawal which may be interpreted as the "first domino" in the disintegration of the USSR. Tajik (talk) 00:38, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you. There are numerous other editors who, in the past two years, have properly eliminated the specious claim of "mujahedin victory." Unfortunately, certain other poorly informed editors always reverse the corrected information and restore the POV claim.
The Soviets withdrew leaving their clients in full control of the territory they had held throughout the 1990s. That client government fell only three years later, when Boris Yeltsin terminated its financial and material aid. Even then, the mujahedin didn't defeat the communists in the field. It was more a case of the communist government fragmenting, with the most powerful elements (chiefly Dostum and his Uzbek militia) aligning with certain segments of the mujahedin.
Too many contributors to this article are misinformed about the war. They should read this article about a forthcoming book on the subject; it looks like this study will be an excellent one:
Kenmore (talk) 20:23, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Mujahideen Casualties

I want to know where 70,000 came from, whilst it is a good figure, according to a lot of documentaries the casualties for the Mujahideen are much higher, closer to 200,000. I'm not saying the second figure's right but is there a source for the first figure. AnonD 23:16 (GMT) 5 November 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

How could anyone really know true mujahedin casualties? I don't know that a single credible study of the subject has even been attempted. One big problem is that it is very difficult to know how many mujahedin were actually fighting. The best source I know of, published in 1988, estimated a total of 500,000 mujahedin, but with only 80,000 to 120,000 functioning as full-time field soldiers. Thus, nearly 400,000 participants in the resistance movement were just informants, saboteurs, supply runners, or shelterers of mujahedin fighters. In the end, to say that the mujahedin suffered 70,000 casualties is to beg the question of how many of them actually were full-time soldiers who fell in battle.Kenmore (talk) 20:33, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Indian support

There was a citation needed tag on the following sentence:"Notably, India, a close ally of Moscow during the Cold War, supported the Soviet invasion and provided crucial logistics and intelligence support to the Soviet army." I have found a bbc article mentioning the Indian support, and so have added the citation, currently # (talk) 05:16, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Since when was India a "close ally of Moscow during the Cold War?" Was not India one of the major players in the league of non-aligned states, or whatever it was called? Please... This is rubbish! Jersey John (talk) 14:55, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

India wasn't physically involved in the conflict. If you had to include all the nations that provided support in the manner which India did during the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan,there would be many other nations on the side of the US such as Egypt,a significant portion of NATO etc. So I reccomend the removal of India. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:40, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

The source SPECULATES an Indian involvment, India unlike other countries involved has never confirmed that it has been a part of this war, so you cannot add a country's name without any confirmation from the government.Magicalpoem (talk) 15:21, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

  • India involvement in the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan was just political. There is no evidence of a Indian military involvement. But, both the regimes of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi fully backed the Soviet Union and were pretty open about it in the media. The India intelligence establishment is also believed to be involved but that does not account to military involvement. --Johnxxx9 (talk) 17:49, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Some sources : [2] [3]

India was a non-aligned state . A few edits ago another user left this remark: A proof that india support russia during Russian invasion of Afghanistan among the edits (this same user returned India to the list of belligerents). On Wikipedia, propagandist rubbish ought not to be tolerated. Until a valid reference is provided, The following lines shall be removed from the article: "Supported by': India" in the Belligerents section and "India Gandhi" from the Commanders section. I request that these users/vandals refrain from editing this article, else serious action is warranted. (talk) 23:00, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


The first thing noticable about this page is the lack of text. The lead paragraph is situated halfway down this page because of the infoboxes. Would it be okay to move the lead section up the page and the second infobox down in order to make the page look something like. Cheers, Mtaylor848 (talk) 19:29, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Article Introduction

" as a pre-emptive war against Islamist terrorists."

This is far fetched. The pre-emptive doctrine did not exist then and in any case was definitely not used in Afghanistan. Neither were there Islamist terrorists then, particularly in that part of the world, with their purpose being solely Islam and terrorism.

The pre-emptive doctrine has existed for a very long time, I'd be surprised if it hadn't existed for millenia, but certainly since the Prussian Bismarck.[4] It is, however, far fetched to say that is why the Soviets went in. JoshNarins 20:57, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Ancient Romans applied the doctrine regularly.

There is no doubt that the Afghan communists were facing a mounting islamic insurgency. But it wasn't a pre-emptive war by the Soviets, much less a war against terrorists. (talk) 08:28, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Certainly the Soviets worried that a Muj victory in Afghanistan might lead to an Islamic revival in central Asia, but "pre-emptive war" and "Islamic terrorism" are phrases from a later period that create an artificial parallel with Iraq. Kauffner (talk) 02:16, 29 August 2010 (UTC)


" After the war the USSR published casualties figures broken down by year.

Soviet casualties by year
1979 86
1980 484
1981 298
1982 948
1983 446
1984 346
1985 868
1986 333
1987 215
1988 759
1989 53


It's not 14,000. Remove this. -- (talk) 18:26, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

This is close to 6,000.Biophys (talk) 03:03, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree. It is not even clear where this Table came from.Biophys (talk) 17:08, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Disagree. This table should be kept, since this is official info on Soviet casualties. See: --Fastboy (talk) 18:09, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

And the rest of the article repeatedly states the official figure is 14,000-15,000. -- (talk) 02:40, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

No, it states that casualties were at least 40,000 according to Western sources (see at the bottom).Biophys (talk) 03:02, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
So the source is (Russian): газета "Правда" от 17.08.1989 года (Newspaper Pravda from 17.08.1989). This is newspaper "The Truth" by Soviet Communist Party. This "source" is as good as any professional disinformation; one can not take it seriously. One can only tell: "according to Soviet propaganda sources...".Biophys (talk) 02:53, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
So, this source tells: 40,000 "according to Western sources", and it also gives several mutually contradicting numbers from Soviet sources. This Table contradicts all other estimates, Soviet and Western. Why do we need it?Biophys (talk) 18:11, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Oops, the original table was probably wrong copy-pasted. First of all, it should look like:
Soviet casualties by year
1979 86
1980 1484
1981 1298
1982 1948
1983 1446
1984 2346
1985 1868
1986 1333
1987 1215
1988 759
1989 53

Which gives the total number close to 14,000. Secondly, it does not matters, if someone does not like Soviet propaganda, U.S. or someone's else propaganda. Like I noticed before, this is officially confirmed numbers. All other estimates are good to know, but they remain only "estimates" from non-official sources. My opinion, official numbers should be noticed at first, and other estimates should be referenced then. --Fastboy (talk) 19:35, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Fine. Then let's simply tell that the casualtes were 14,000 according to Soviet soutces, and at least 40,000 according to Weastern sources. That is what your source claims. It means than the number of casualties is disputed. What for do you need this Table with disputed numbers?Biophys (talk) 20:02, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
It may be useful to remember that the term "casualties" does NOT mean dead or killed; casualties are dead, wounded, missing, and captured.-- (talk) 01:46, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this mention is enough. I didn't noticed before that this table is not only one mention in the article. --Fastboy (talk) 20:12, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Poison Gas

I don't see anything in here about the Soviet use of poison gas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jokem (talkcontribs) 03:49, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I would venture a guess and say that it has been purposely deleted by russians who do not believe it or worse believe it but do not wnat it to be present in a WiKipedia article, this however are just some of the sources to say that YES the Soviets DID indeed use poisongas, napalm etc. and not just in Afghanistan but also in Campuchea and more:

And especially:

And I could go on and on... But this is Wikipedia and should not be a battleground between polemic and political statements, however with having been said then I find it raised above reasonable doubt that poison gas were used. Hence it should be represented just as the American use of CS and Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Russian intransigence does not equal valid historiacal sources.Nick-bang (talk) 13:30, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Military victory

Let's have a look.

  • Soviets lost at least 10 times less then Mujahideen. It's tactical victory for Soviets.
  • Soviets achieved all their goals (Colonel General Boris Gromov in "Limited contingent": 40th army did anything it needed, Mujahideen did only that they could do). Soviet army had been aimed to aid Democratic Republic of Afghanistan - and it executed the order. Soviet army had been aimed to prevent USA agression against Afghanistan - and it prevented invasion. It's operational victory for Soviets.--El gato verde (talk) 16:58, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
But the Soviets were not able to save the communist regime in Afghanistan. Their involvement were just as disastrous as the US war in Vietnam. Stating anything else is counterfactual.--Mikrobølgeovn (talk) 21:02, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Weren't able? Communist regime in Afghanistan fell only after 3-4 years after Soviet widthrawal. Only after widthrawal and only after 3-4 years. And what about "disaster"? Disaster for whom? Soviet army made everything it needed. Not like US army in Vietnam.--El gato verde (talk) 14:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
The Soviets were unable to achieve their goal, by failing to strenghten the communist regime in Afghanistan. South Vietnam fell two years after the American withdrawal, and the Vietnam war is a recognized American failure.--Mikrobølgeovn (talk) 11:00, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Vietnam and Afghanistan aren't equivalent. False analogy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:00, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Actually it is a very GOOD analogy for a number of reasons:

1) Both wars were waged by proxy by a superpower against another superpower. USA and USSR respectively.

2) Both wars had a huge economic drain on their respective powers - a burden which USA could bear and but USSR could not.

3) Both wars were predominately counterinsurgency, but also had elements of full scale battle.

4) Both wars produced thousands of casualties - both to the local populace and the klient armies as well as the enemy, but certainly also to the Superpowers. In this case around 20.000 dead MINIMUM, around 500.000 wounded and around 25.000 maimed/invalides.

5) Both wars were fought in a stretched out fashion and at a medium level - neither power ever really comitting fully. Which in itself makes the Vietnam analogy very interesting because it is obvious that despite giving massive aid to North Vietnam, then the Soviet army learnt NOTHING from the experience of the americans and therefore made all the same mistakes.

6) BOTH wars were LOST because neither superpower EVER realized the strategic objective of stopping the enemys will to fight. Consequently then both pupetregimes fell quickly without help. Vietnam in 1975 by the conquest of Saigon. The claim in the article that Najibullah survived until 1992 is almost to the date the same length that the south vietnamese government survived without US support. But the fact is that Najibullah de facto only controlled VERY limited parts of the Afghan countryside.

7) Both wars wasted enormous amounts of lives money and material without ANY succes.

Soviet LOST this war and what is more - the loss had a more catastrophic effect on the Soviet society.Nick-bang (talk) 07:58, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

There is perhaps one thing that sets Soviet Afghan War and US Vietnam War apart and that is distence. Vietnam was on the otherside of the world and the war was purely ideological. Afghanistan bordered the Soviet Union, yes it was a ideological war to, but it was also to secure the borders of the Soviet Union. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Image of Mujahideen using a communications receiver

"A mujahideen fighter in Kunar uses a communications receiver to receive transmissions." Surely, ".......uses a communications receiver." PERIOD, explains clearly enough what the receiver does? Trivial, maybe, but none-the-less important in a WP article. ( (talk) 10:53, 6 April 2010 (UTC))

Confusing Numbers

"There were less than 150,000 troops deployed. 53,753, or 11.44 percent, were wounded, injured, or sustained concussion and 415,932 (88.56 percent) fell sick." Not sure what happened here but if there are only 150,000 troops there can't be 415,932 with injuries. (talk) 08:04, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

There where in total 620,000 soviet troops serving in Afghanistan between 1979-1989 and 415,932 of them fell sick during that whole period hints 88.56% —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Infobox said 118000 soviet soldiers in Afghanistan in the article further down it states that there where only 80000 to 104000 serving at one time explain please. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Start of War

In the Infobox it says the war started on december 27, where in the introduction it says it started december 24. The December 24 has a reference and I don't think the december 27 does, so I will change that unless there is a reason for the december 27 date. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:32, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Garbled Sentence

"That committee then elected as head of government former Deputy Prime Minister Babrak Karmal, who had been demoted to the relatively insignificant post of ambassador to Czechoslovakia following the Khalq takeover, and that it had requested Soviet military assistance."

Fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Republic of Georgia [??]

Ah, the "Republic of Georgia" also took part in Afghanistan...?, following that (non-referenced) quotation:

"Around 5000 soldiers and 3000 civilians participated from Republic of Georgia, 128 died, 500 wounded, 7 missing."

It has to be supposed that not "Republic of Georgia", but Georgian SSR is meant. But why this strange ratio: 5.000 soldiers to 3.000 civilians - see all-soviet ratio for comparison. Thanks ! -- (talk) 13:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Result of war

It's clearly Soviet military victory: Soviet army lost less than its rival. But - political stalemate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by El gato verde (talkcontribs) 14:43, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Then why did you wrote "tactical victory" in the article? (talk) 20:41, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

When the Soviets invaded, did the generals tell the Poliburo, "If only we lose fewer soldiers than the Afghans, we will do the motherland proud"? Kauffner (talk) 01:51, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Nonsense - this just another russian attempt of history revisionism. It was a huge defeat that broke not only the Soviet army but in fact the sovietunion. The fact is that its completely irrelevant how many Afghans the soviet forces killed - because they still retained their fighting capability and was in fact stronger in 1989 than in 1979, as opposed to the Soviet Army. Therefore the Vietnam analogy is accurate because it was a Strategic defeat.Nick-bang (talk) 15:30, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

"Regional" countries

The section "Foreign involvement and aid to the mujahideen" contains the claim "Ground support, for political reasons, was limited to regional countries" (my italics) - I've no idea what a "regional country" is: I imagine that, what the writer means is a neighbouring country, but I thought I'd check with experts here before I changed it ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 21:16, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

No comments, so I've changed it ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 15:44, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Your change was positive, but the statement as a whole is completely unreferenced, sounds like WP:OR to me. I think it's obvious that "Ground support, for logistical reasons, was limited to countries which share borders with land-locked Afghanistan." But it isn't necessary for clarity and really doesn't belong there unless a WP:RSS mentioned it. And the "political reasons" doesn't make a whole lot of sense, unless we're talking about the political issue of non-neighboring countries trucking materiel through neighboring countries. I'm tagging it as citation-needed. Thundermaker (talk) 16:12, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
fair enough. I also realised (or realized) I was being Anglocentric - the rest of the article is written in American English, so I've changed my contribution from "neighbouring" to "neighboring" ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 11:47, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

"communist rebellion"

In the background of the war, one of the notes says that either the US or Saudi Arabia supported the North Yemeni royalists against a communist rebellion. Unless there was a communist revolt in North Yemen, it should be replaced with the Republican revolt. (the part about the support to the royalists should be clearer in order to show who supported who.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:58, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Victim numbers

Can someone have a look at these edits on the numbers of victims? Vandalism?

  1. 15 aug 2010 15:26 Professor john enistein (Overleg | bijdragen) (88.056 bytes)
  2. 15 aug 2010 15:07 Professor john enistein (Overleg | bijdragen) (87.970 bytes)

--JanDeFietser (talk) 16:14, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Financial costs of the war

The Soviet Afghan war costs about 8.2 billion $ a year economically to the soviet union. source: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Mujahideen casualties

Finally i've found a reliable sources for these dates, but i don't know how to place the source in the article.


  • Pakistan intelligence: 90,000 casualties, 56,000 killed between 1980-1989. The author say that this is an underestimation.
  • Author stimation for 1980-1992: 150,000 - 180,000 thousand casualties and half of they killed, based on the weaponry taken from dead mujahideen.

--Bentaguayre (talk) 20:00, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

DRA Army casualties

18,000 killed according with this Osprey book

--Bentaguayre (talk) 23:25, 10 September 2010 (UTC)


umm, the vietnam war article doesn't start as "the american invasion of vietnam was an 18-year war that wreaked incredible havoc and destruction on vietnam." nor does the invasion of iraq article start "the american invasion of iraq in 2003 is a war that is continually wreaking incredible havoc and destruction on iraq." etc. etc. ...much rhetoric...this article appears to be heavily biased against the USSR, & doesn't significantly discuss the US reaction against the invasion and its consequences (one sentence?)... then again i am not going to put in the effort to edit it, so whatever, if someone who already has an account and knows how to do this stuff wants to maintain the credibility of wikipedia, then go for it! anyway, just an observation. (ooh sorry i forgot a subject last time so i did something and now it has one!)

Alpha group strength

December 27, 1979 - 700 KGB spetsnaz special forces troops, Alpha Group, in Afghan uniforms storm the Presidential Place in Kabul, taking heavy casualties, killing President Hafizullah Amin. "

IIRC only ~50 of them were actual Alpha fighters - two groups with two APCs each (Thunder - 25 men and Zenith - 24 men). The others were an unclear entity - moslem division that blocked retreat from the palance and reinforcements to it. Alpha casualties were 5 men and two APCs.

All right, but the article shows "heavy casualities". I have changed it to "light casualities".

Red Army didn't invade Afganistan

The Red Army were renamed to the Soviet Army in February 1946

I do not think that Soviet-Russian Army actually invade Afghanistan. Afghan Communists somehow pulled the stunt which was impossible to do it. Afghan Communists managed to bring the Saur Revolution and took controlled the country, but they never had an ability to run the state in real terms. The lack of ability to lead the operations against the insurgency cause them to sign a "Watch my back pact". Continuing requests to Soviet Union to take matters in their hands. Soon, Russians realized that the Afghan Communists were unable to solved their own issues, which also distract the Afghan Communists Government to concentrate in the war. In the end, it was not Soviet union's war, the war was made for them. Soviets were there to support the so-called regime. But, the covert-operations and attack on Soviets, made them to fight the war. This is same strategy is going in North-West Pakistan.

Injected with POV

The following changes must be made to this article:

- The mujahideen must be described as external Arab invaders.

- The Soviet Union did not invade Afghanistan. Rather, it deployed troops in order to assist a regime whose regime was under attack by an externally supported and organised rebellion.

- Perspective must be shown in concern to the repression endured by the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan under Daoud.

- Babrak Karmal was the former Deputy Prime Minister under Taraki who had been demoted to the insignificant post of ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

These all seem like POV-skewed statements to me. The Mujahideen were not entirely external, nor were they necessarily "invaders." And the same principle applies to the Russians. In addition, you point out no details as to what this "repression" is, and fail to show why the ambassador post is insignifcant. --S.M. 04:58, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

POV statement is to call USSR deployment of forces an "invasion". Here I refer to a definition of invasion as a "military offensive consisting of large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory, forcing the partition of a country, altering the established government or gaining concessions from said government, or a combination thereof". The facts say there was not a single reason from the above-mentioned definition to attach the label "invasion" to the Soviet operation in Afghanistan, which was aimed at supporting the government currently in rule and aiming at preserving the country from partition, securing its economy and growth (here I can refer to the docs proving that larger part of money was spent on rebuilding the country, there should be a separate chapter maybe on the USSR efforts to rebuild the country, infrastructure, roads, schools, hospitals and so on). Anyway, the term "invasion" is clearly POV and should be eradicated. In addition, we can add a chapter on media war (like in the Russia-Georgian war article) describing how the western media (and much less the Soviet media) distorted the reasons and consequences of the Afghanistan operation. --Victor V V (talk) 02:55, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

There is no doubt that the Soviet occupation was an invasion. The Soviet Union installed a new regime by force, and sent troops into the country to support their puppets. The attack on the presidential palace by Spetsnaz, killing the president, followed by the invasion of airborne forces and the 40th Division. I believe that this cannot be described as anything other than an invasion.

Contributors who do not even know that Soviet troops killed the Afghan president, are hardly qualified to comment on this topic. (talk) 08:22, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Your jingoistic bias is showing. It was not an invasion. The US invaded Afghanistan but that is not mentioned in the article on the current illegal invasion and occupation and war crimes of the criminal gangs paid by the US taxpayers. That is a criminal operation, the Soviets were invited by the sovereign government of Afghanistan, it was not an invasion. I realize your tiny propaganda addled mind can't handle this, which is why your bias is totally inappropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

To call the deployment of soviet forces to Afghanistan anything BUT an invasion is completely irrational as well as obviously untrue - the fact that the president of Afghanisatn was murdered in the early stages of the operation is compelling but far from the only evidence to that effect. Hence its utterly moronic to claim that the soviet union "deployed troops in order to assist a regime whose regime was under attack by an externally supported and organised rebellion". It simply has no bearing on the realities of the conflict. Furthermore the external support to the Mujahedeen only escalated AFTER the soviet invasion.

To call the Mujahedeen "external Arab invaders" is simply stupid and unenlightened. Allthough there is no doubt that they received widespread help and support from external sources in the later parts of the war and there were volunteers from many other muslim countries, then the nucleous of the mujahedeen were Afghan.

What exactly is meant by "Perspective must be shown in concern to the repression endured by the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan under Daoud" - is this another revisionist attempt to deflect Soviet and by extension Russian guilt in this war? I have a very hard time seeing this as anything but a nationalistic russian attempt of historical revisionism - one that is clearly unfounded by international research.Nick-bang (talk) 15:15, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

The Soviets intervened in Afghanistan to protect the Afghan communinist government, which was in danger of being toppled by the resistance. They killed Daoud because he was a fanatic and a drunkard whose policies incited rebellion and were a direct threat to the surivival of the communist regime itself. Another reason for killing Daoud is that he was believed to be a leader who would ally Afghanistan with China, thus taking the country out of the Soviet Union's zone of influence. The Soviets believed, incorrectly, that after replacing Daoud with a moderate communist leader, the rebels would no longer feel the need to overthrow the communists, and Soviet troops could be withdrawn in short order. To call the Soviet intervention an "invasion" is inaccurate.Kenmore (talk) 06:00, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Impact of the war on the Soviet Union is misunderstood

I eliminated the introductory paragraph which states that the war was a major factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is nonsense. The Afghan conflict did not have much of an impact on the Soviet Union at all.

The Afghan war was really just a military and political sideshow for the Soviets. It was always regarded by the Kremlin as much less of a priority -- militarily, economically and politically -- than the Soviet Union's tense international standoff with the United States, NATO, and China.

The war did not have a "profound" impact on the Soviet Union, as the article incorrectly stated before I corrected it.

Just read Russian history to get some perspective. Wars that had a "profound" impact on Russia or the Soviet Union were conflicts that were far larger in military, political, and economic scope than was the Afghan war. The fighting in Afghanistan did not impact Russia/Soviet Union on a scale that was anything comparable to other major conflicts in history, such as the Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese War, or even the 1940 Soviet-Finnish War.

It is far fetched to imagine that a small regional conflict such as the Afghan war could have caused the Soviet Union's collapse.

Gorbachev pulled his troops out of Afghanistan because of dire economic circumstances within the Soviet Union itself. This economic meltdown was caused by the demands of the Cold War confrontation with the United States. It was not caused by the Afghan rebels.

The Soviet military was not driven from Afghanistan by the rebels. On the contrary, the Soviet army was strongly entrenched in Afghanistan and it was under no military pressure to retreat.

The war was an embarrassment for the Soviet military because the vaunted Soviet army could not destroy the rebels and end the conflict. That is not really the same as a defeat.

NATO's experience against the Taliban today is more or less the same experience the Soviet army had against the Afghan rebels in the 1980s. No victory, no result, but at the same time, no defeat. Just interminable, desultory skirmishing.

Kenmore (talk) 05:45, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Rather than omit supported claims that this war was a factor in the demise of the Soviet Union, this article should include such supported claims *and* include supported claims that this war did *not* lead to the demise of the Soviet Union. Kingturtle (talk) 05:50, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
You need to consider the merit of the "supported" claims. No respected authorities in academia, journalism, or affairs of state seriously argue that the war was a contributing factor to the Soviet Union's collapse. Any well known figures who make this argument are just hyperbolizing.
To include such "supported" claims in this article would be to seriously undermine the article's credibility.
Kenmore (talk) 06:19, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
If you can find sources that claim it wasn't a major factor, by all means include them. Your argument makes no sense at all and certainly isn't a basis to remove material that represents the majority opinion among writers on this subject. If the Soviet army couldn't even win a "sideshow" war, than it obviously wasn't in same league as the U.S. military, which would make the Cold War a bit of farce. Kauffner (talk) 13:18, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Kauffner: thanks for your input, but you are confused. No responsible scholars espouse your argument; it is advanced only by hyperbolic and ignorant journalists. Please read my posts for more information on the subject, including reputable sources. Read British journalist Jonathan Steele's articles for perspective. Kenmore (talk) 01:09, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

So if someone disagrees with you, they are "hyperbolic and ignorant", either that or "confused." Only if they agree with you can they be considered "responsible scholars." How convienent! What part of Russia do you come from, anyway? I am aware that not all writers agree on this issue, but to just leave out the majority view cannot be justified. Kauffner (talk) 01:36, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
No, people are not hyperbolic, ignorant, or confused if they disagree with me on this subject. Far from it. However, people are ignorant and confused about the Afghan War if their knowledge of the event is limited to reading hyperbolic newspaper headlines, or the superficial and inaccurate articles about the war routinely produced by non-specialist journalists for popular publications (i.e., light reading). If you believe that your misperceptions about the war are a "majority view," then you are talking about the "view" held by people who have done no serious reading on the subject.Kenmore (talk) 06:10, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I understand your reasoning, Jokem, but please do not remove others' comments. The integrity of the record on talk pages is of paramount importance; see WP:TPO, and WP:Civil#Removal of uncivil comments. I struck them instead, which marks them as not helpful to consensus, but preserves their place in the discussion. Anarchangel (talk) 10:43, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually the only unfounded and undocumented statements are the ones made ny kenmore. By a firm an international consensus in academia there is NO doubt that the war was one of the if not THE pivotal points in forcing Gorbachev to start Perestroika and Glasnost. As for the other unfounded statement they are moronic to the point of being arsenine - the war was a VERY heavy economic toll on the sovietunion with the material expenses running in the billions of rubels. Add to this the very heavy burden of repatriating the veterans and invalids so as to hide the extent of the war. 450.000 wounded, 20.000+ dead and a similar number of invalids made an enormeous impact as did the failure to achieve any strategic objectives. The war was a MUCH higher intensity than the present in Afghanisatn which in itself cast doubt on Kenmores statements.Nick-bang (talk) 07:28, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Nick-bang: Your remarks expose your deep ignorance of the war and the history of the Soviet Union. Do you know the Soviet Union's GNP for each year in the 1980s? Of course not; otherwise you wouldn't have made the preposterous claim about the war's impact on the Soviet economy. Your statement about the "very heavy burden of repatriating the veterans and invalids" is beyond dumb. If you had done any serious reading, you'd know that the Soviet army suffered more troop deaths annually in the USSR due to industrial accidents than it lost in combat in Afghanistan. What does this tell you? You need perspective. Finally, nowhere did I ever say that the Soviet war of the 1980s was less intense than the NATO war of the '00s. Where you got that idea is beyond me.Kenmore (talk) 00:58, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Mujahideen strenght

According to this book

  • Full time: 20,000 - 100,000
  • Part time: 150,000

--Bentaguayre (talk) 23:43, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

The most credible estimates I've seen put mujahideen strength at 80,000 to 120,000 full-time fighters backed up by another 380,000 supporters (i.e., seasonal fighters, part-time fighters, spies, gun runners, etc.). Amazingly, this same source states that the rebels were broken into roughly 200 different groups, including the seven main mujahideen military/political factions. Many of the rebels, apparently, consisted of small bands of gunfighters who sought only to control their own villages or valleys.Kenmore (talk) 06:26, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Source reliability: Youtube, The ACTivist

I reverted an edit on the grounds that Youtube is not a reliable source in almost all circumstances, and the citations given did not support reliability (absence of publishing authority, absence of work title, lack of timestamp for item cited). The ACTivist magazine is of a higher reliability as it takes editorial responsibility, but as a partisan press, and given the scope of this article in MILHIST, the sourcing standards for the Military History project hold: this article should be generally sourced out of academic histories, available as books, book chapters, journal articles in peer reviewed journals, peer reviewed conference proceedings, and accepted PhD theses available for consultation at recognised Universities. Thanks, Fifelfoo (talk) 02:31, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree! Kenmore (talk) 06:28, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Pakistan and EGYPT

Supported by:

United States
Saudi Arabia
United Kingdom

you forgot Pakistan and Egypt —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Is this a copy-&-paste job from somewhere ?

The following is an unwikified version of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by Anon. User: The original version has been restored. I don't know this topic, so I shouldn't merge the two versions. Please feel free to do so.

In 1979, the USSR took control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, and tried through the following decade to gain control over the whole country and its people. The invasion was a failure, costing thousands of lives and having serious consequences still felt today.

To better understand the reason for the Soviet invasion and failure, first one must understand the geography and culture in Afghanistan. The land is mountainous and arid. Jagged, impassable ranges divide the country and make travel difficult. Due to these physical divisions, the people are extremely provincial, with more loyalty to their specific clan or ethnic group than to a government or a country. The people are Muslims, and extremely religious and conservative. The majority ethnic group is the Pashtun, but there are over ten minority groups.

Starting in the 1950s, the USSR began giving aid to Afghanistan. The Soviets built roads, irrigation and even some oil pipelines. In the 1970s, a Communist party overthrew the monarchy and tried to institute social reforms. The rural populations saw land distribution and women's rights as alien to their traditional Islamic culture, a culture in which polygamy, covering of women, and blood for blood practices are accepted. The Communist governments in Kabul in the 1970s lacked the popular support of the rural population.

The Invasion

The Soviets sent troops into Afghanistan in 1979 for a number of reasons. First, they wished to expand their influence in Asia. They also wanted to preserve the Communist government that had been established in the 1970s, and was collapsing because of its lack of support other than in the military. Third, the Soviets wanted to protect their interests in Afghanistan from Iran and western nations.

The Soviets brought in over one hundred thousand soldiers, secured Kabul quickly and installed Babrak Karmal as their puppet leader. However, they were met with fierce resistance when they ventured out of their strongholds into the countryside. Resistance fighters, called mujahidin, saw the Christian or atheist Soviets controlling Afghanistan as a defilement of Islam as well as of their traditional culture. Proclaiming a "jihad"(holy war), they gained the support of the Islamic world. The US gave them weapons and money. The mujahidin employed guerrilla tactics against the Soviets. They would attack or raid quickly, then disappear into the mountains, causing great destruction without pitched battles. The fighters used whatever weapons they could take from the Soviets or were given by the US. Decentralized and scattered around Afghanistan, the mujahidin were like a poisonous snake without a head that could be cut off. There was no one strong central stronghold from which resistance operated

Effects / World Response

Afghan refugee's eyes represent the anguish brought upon her by the Soviet Invasion (Denker, 1985).

The Soviet invasion had a devastating effect on the Afghan people. Because the rural population fed and housed the mujahidin, the Soviets tried to eliminate or remove civilian populations from the countryside where resistance was based. Soviet bombing destroyed entire villages, crops and irrigation, leaving millions of people dead, homeless or starving. Land mines maimed unsuspecting Afghans, especially children who mistook them to be toys. Refugee camps around Peshawar, Pakistan sprang up and quickly became overcrowded, unsanitary and insufficiently supplied. In addition, many internal refugees fled from their region.

The Soviet invasion in Afghanistan elicited a strong reaction from all over the world. The United States condemned the occupation immediately. We sent hundreds of millions of dollars worth of guns and food to Afghanistan to aid the mujahidin and the refugees. The United Nations voted to condemn the action, and repeatedly exhorted the USSR to pull out. From throughout the Arab world, people gave money and aided the mujahidin. One of these benefactors of the war was Osama bin Laden. Although the primary reason for the Soviet withdrawal was their military failure, diplomatic pressure from around the world may have hastened it.


Soviet Withdrawal / Reprecussions

In 1989, Soviet forces pulled out of Afghanistan. Fifteen thousand Soviet soldiers and countless Afghans had been killed in the decade-long war. Billions of dollars had been spent each year to support troops in Afghanistan. Unable to defeat the mujahidin and pressed by world opinion to leave Afghanistan, Soviet leader Gorbachev decided that the USSR had to get out. In part, the tide of the war had been turned by the introduction of US-made shoulder-launched antiaircraft missiles in 1987. With these missiles, the mujahidin shot down Soviet planes and helicopters every day, increasing the monetary and human cost of the war, and making Soviet strike tactics ineffective. Demoralized and with no victory in sight, the USSR's forces left Afghanistan.

The war had far-reaching effects on Afghanistan, the Soviets, and the US. Several million Afghans had either fled to neighboring Pakistan for refuge or had become internal refugees. In addition, millions more had died from starvation or from the Soviet bombings and raids. Among the survivors were a generation that had known only war, hatred, and fear. Homes, animals, and precious irrigation systems were destroyed, leaving the country barren and in ruin. Also, thousands of miniature land mines dropped by the Soviet planes continued to pose a hazard to the Afghan people long after the war with the USSR ended.

The USSR was also affected greatly by its failure. It lost fifteen thousand troops, but the true damage done was in the degradation of its image, and the billions of dollars it spent during the war. This fall from invincibility and vast expendature of money to finance the invasion in part caused the USSR to fall apart in the early 1990s.

One long-term effect of the Soviet invasion and pull-out was the establishment of a weak state full of religious hatred and hatred of richer nations: a breeding ground for terrorism. Though supplying the Afghan resistance with American guns and anti-aircraft missiles seemed like a good idea for the US in the 1980s, and was the reason for the Soviets’ defeat, now as the US invades, they are met with their own guns. The significance of the sophisticated guns has yet to be determined. In light of the US involvement today in Afghanistan after the September 11th terrorist attacks, it is especially important to understand the history of the Soviet's involvement there so we can avoid making the same mistakes.

Thanks. -- PFHLai 07:07, 2005 Jan 30 (UTC)

The account written above is full of factual errors. Most of the claims made are nothing more than naive assumptions by the author. (talk) 01:26, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Extra belligerents and Role of India

It doesn't seem to be a policy on Wikipedia to add supporters and financiers to the belligerents box - even the current War in Afghanistan page doesn't feature Pakistan's ISI as a supporter of the Taliban forces, for example. So why the long list of supporters on this page? India, for example, only sent humanitarian aid and technical development as it says in the citation. Why is Indira Gandhi suddenly a commander of this conflict? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree 100% with the above. This is a widespread *disease* in Wikipedia articles relating to past / present wars where overzealous kids and editors add the names of half the countries of the world to the "belligerent" / "supported by" / "allies" for not as much as their leaders simply making a statement to the press. Specifically, it is frankly ridiculous to add India as a party to this war, even in the "supported by" column. I have removed it from the infobox. The two citations given were bogus. The first one clearly mentioned that India only gave "humanitarian and technical aid" to the Govt of Afghanistan led by Najibullah (the UN-recognized legitimate government of the day in Afghanistan) and that too only in 1989, by when this war had already ended and it had been more than a year since the Soviets had summarily withdrawn all their troops, equipment and backing. The second reference given for this supposed "Indian role" mentions Afghanistan in passing over only two sentences in a five page article on Indian policies during the Cold War and simply states that Indira Gandhi provided "tacit support" and "failed to condemn in public" the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, that, incidentally, she indeed condemned in private. If this pedestrian logic qualifies India and Indira Gandhi to be a belligerent / supporter / ally of the Soviets during this war, then so was the British Empire bloody well an ally of Nazi Germany during the latter's invasion of the Sudetenland (there surely was lots of "tacit support and failure to condemn" in that invasion as well, right?). In any case, I've removed India from the infobox (the article itself obviously does not even mention any role of India, because frankly, as I've mentioned above, there was none). Please reply here if you have any references whatsoever or points against the above arguments before editing and re-introducing extra countries in the article/infobox.

What is a billion

In the first paragraph of the section named Background this appears: "with billions in economic and military aid sent to Afghanistan". There is no indication of what unit is being discussed. This is gramatically as well as semantically incorrect. Billions of good wishes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Where is the evidence that Gorbachev told his army to win in 1985?

The article indicates that an impatient Gorbachev ordered his army to win the war within a year in 1985. Where is the evidence backing up this claim? In truth, it is another myth about the Afghan war. The claim was never anything more than speculation by analysists in the late 1980s. The media treated the speculation as established truth. There's no Kremlin documentation supporting the claim. Recent press reports have shed light on the myth as well. Maybe the article should be edited? (talk) 23:56, 12 May 2011 (UTC)


1,000,000 to all of them? When there was only 250,000 Muj? ? ? To kill all of them just makes me laugh. Stop trolling the article and making your country look amazing. Lets get some truth and put unknown. PS not all Afghans are Muj! Lets fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Same could easily be said on the Vietnam war article. Strength of 461,000 but casualties of 1,177,462. Yup that makes a lot of sense. (talk) 15:22, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps, the strength doesn't mean "participants", but just means "forces available at once"? Certainly, in a long conflict, the number of casualties can be several times more than the number deployed at a given time - e.g. USSR in WW2 lost some 28 million soldiers (10 mil dead/missing, 15 mil wounded, 3 mil sick), while the forces deployed at once on the front were around 6-6.5 million. With respect,

Also to add to this, where did the figure of Soviet losses in the 14,000's come from? the guardian puts it at 26,000+ Ko Soi IX (talk) 19:02, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

What tactical victory?

I'm really confused on a result being a "Soviet tactical victory". This is complete nonsense, and surely some Russian's attempt at skewing history to spare his country of a well known defeat. It's a fact that the the Soviets did not accomplish their goal. They failed to sustain a communist government in Afghanistan.

It doesn't matter if the insurgent fighters took more casualties or that the regime didn't collapse until after the Soviets retreated from the country. If this was really a Soviet victory (and we all know it wasn't), then I see no reason why Vietnam can't be considered an American victory. This must be changed, or else we allow bias to interfere with people learning about the reality of this war.

I don't think you know what a "tactical" victory is, if you don't consider casualty ratios a factor in establishing such. From a tactical point of view, the Soviet army slaughtered the insurgents (much as the American army - the vietkong). Given the difference in available equipment, it is understandable. Hence Afghanistan for the Soviets, as well as Vietnam for the Americans, was a tactical victory. But in my opinion, that does not belong to the infobox; instead we should have something along the lines of "Soviet withdrawal", or even "Soviet strategic defeat". With respect, Ko Soi IX (talk)

The Soviet role was basically to strengthen the Afghan army until they could fend for themselves. This they achieved because the largest mujahideen offensive was the Battle of Jalalabad when the various mujahideen groups joined together and attacked Jalalabad - but they were defeated by the Afghan Army with no armed assistance from the Soviet Army which had withdrawn a month earlier. The PDPA had the country under control and the mujahideen weren't even close to gaining state power until 1992 when Yeltsin A) cut off all aid to Dr Najib's government (while American and especially Pakistani aid continued) and B) began negotiations with the mujahideen. The Soviets had left the country with the Afghan Army stronger and better equipped than when they intervened in 1979. The same cannot be said about the US Army in Vietnam.
It should be called a military stalemate and a political defeat for the Soviet Union. Although the comments directly above are mostly true (between 1989-92, despite successfully stalemating the insurgents, the Afghan communists only controlled about 15% of the country, not the entire country), the Soviets certainly didn't win anything, so the military conflict should not be termed a "Soviet tactical victory." Then again, as already indicated, the Soviets successfully protected the Afghan government, strengthened the Afghan army, thus achieving their limited military goals (yes, their military goals were limited in Afghanistan...they were not trying to conquer the country). For this reason it is ignorant to call the war a Soviet military defeat of any sort. Ultimately the Soviets left because of internal politics within the USSR, and because they finally realized there was no possibility of successfully establishing a state in Afghanistan. That is clear political failure. Kenmore (talk) 04:33, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Bin Laden Non-Sense

Why is OBL listed under "commanders"? He did not play any major role in that conflict, and certainly not as the head of resistence. If no additional sources are provided for the very misleading entry in the next 3 to 4 days I will remove it. (talk) 19:51, 14 May 2011 (UTC)


[5] This addition seems completely irrelevant to the article. Though carpet bombing in many conflicts can be added to this article, including the soviet-afghan war, dudayev was not an important figure in this war and his name does not appear in a single book on the soviet-afghan war (the allegations of his involvement in "carpet bombing" came from his political opponents).Machinarium (talk) 00:33, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Mujahideen casualties


150,000-180,000 killed stimated by the author.

--Bentaguayre (talk) 12:35, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

One single reference isn't enough. A young communist (talk) 14:41, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
It says 150-180,000 killed or wounded. It also say that half of these were killed, that confirms our former estimate of 75-90,000 killed. --A young communist (talk) 14:19, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

please edit

please edit end note 52. This link can replace rthe dead link. thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:15, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

The dead link has been replaced with your link. Thanks for sharing the new location. -- Fyrefly (talk) 15:12, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Mujahideen Equipment

Does anyone know where the Mujahideen got their equipment from before foreign aid (Op. Cyclone and others)? Jefe (talk) 21:16, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Why is india here?

Anyone reading this or seeing this knows someone is trying to rip india, Med supplies?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Soviet war in Afghanistan compared with the American war in Vietnam

An IP removed this comparison with the edit summary "Deleting VN war comment - not everything has to be seen through the eyes of the American Baby Boomers". I reverted this excision. This comparison was frequently made, during the war -- this particular comment was made during the war. Geo Swan (talk) 03:46, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Dubious: American policy to involve the Soviets in Afghanistan

See the article on Charlie Wilson's War section on background which says:

Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, allegedly stated in an interview that he claimed was illegitimate and fabricated that the U.S. effort to aid the mujahideen was preceded by an effort to delibrately draw the Soviets into a costly and presumably distracting Vietnam War-like conflict. In a 1998 interview[22] with the French news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski is said to have recalled: "We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would... That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviets into the Afghan trap... The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, "We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War."[23][24] He maintains that this interview is simply untrue and that there were no arms sent to the Afghan insurgents until the week after the Soviet invasion. He suggested that the latter claim is easily verifiable, saying "the records are open!"[25] Two declassified documents signed by Carter shortly before the invasion do authorize the provision "unilaterally or through third countries as appropriate support to the Afghan insurgents either in the form of cash or non-military supplies" and the "worldwide" distribution of "non-attributable propaganda" to "expose" the leftist Afghan government as "despotic and subservient to the Soviet Union" and to "publicize the efforts of the Afghan insurgents to regain their country's sovereignty," but the records also show that the provision of arms to the rebels did not begin until 1980.[26][27] According to Eric Alterman of The Nation, Cyrus Vance's close aide Marshall Shulman "insists that the State Department worked hard to dissuade the Soviets from invading and would never have undertaken a program to encourage it" and President Carter has said it was definitely "not my intention" to inspire a Soviet invasion but to deter one.[28]

-- (talk) 16:18, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Domestic reaction?

The article makes no mention of the reaction to the war by the Soviet population. LaughingSkull (talk) 09:50, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

And the photo of commemoration in Minsk, Belarus, was attributed Russian Federation - despite the giant Belorussian flag, Belorussian uniforms and inscription on the building in Belorussian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

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Anti aircraft gun Disambiguation

I have fixed the Disambig links [6] here. Although i am not very sure about whether Oerlikon canon in the article refers to the Oerlikon 20 mm cannon or the Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon, please change if you get a source that tells us the exact one. regards -- ÐℬigXЯaɣ 13:47, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Iran from Mujahideen Supported by:

Some people are trolling i think, have a watch, there's no proof about Iran as they never participated in this war, remove it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

You're wrong.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 19:08, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Any source?? Just add Israel instead of Iran. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:44, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Iran backed the Shi'a groups during the war. See Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia pXXIV Darkness Shines (talk) 18:28, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Unending proliferation of names in belligerents section of infobox and role of India

I had written exactly this about a year ago on the talk page and a consensus was made. But since then those old talk page sections have been archived and all kinds of people such as User talk: are again and again coming back and making the same edits, so let me repeat the arguments and discussion again now. Firstly, foreign affairs diplomats verbally expressing support for a conflict is NOT the same as SUPPORT IN WAR, let alone enough for getting added to the LIST OF BELLIGERENTS! Otherwise one might as well add EU's and Japan's names to the Iraq War, ha! Better still, one might add the British Empire's name as an ally of Nazi Germany's invasion of Sudetenland during the early stages of WW2 because Britain fully supported Hitler's annexation, right! Secondly, in India's case, as the properly referenced and sourced last sentence in the "international reaction" subsection of the "consequences of war" section says, India actually categorically REFUSED to support the war. REFUSE TO SUPPORT means the EXACT OPPOSITE of SUPPORT, for those with language comprehension problems. Thirdly, the NYT article that the other guy has given as reference for India's so-called support says clearly, that India sent HUMANITARIAN AID ONLY, THAT TOO to the then-Government of Afghanistan (NOT any troops), and MOREOVER, AFTER February 15 i.e. AFTER Soviet troops had already completely WITHDRAWN AND THE WAR WAS ALREADY OVER. Now tell me, HOW do these facts reconcile with somebody's unsourced, original research claim that India SUPPORTED the Soviet Union IN THE WAR, and that too in a manner sufficient to be added to the LIST OF BELLIGERENTS! Again, this matter has already been discussed to death on the talk pages previously already and consensus was made. PLEASE read the Archives here Talk:Soviet war in Afghanistan/Archive 2, specifically the sections Talk:Soviet war in Afghanistan/Archive 2#Indian support and Talk:Soviet war in Afghanistan/Archive 2#Extra belligerents and Role of India and kindly STOP making the same unconstructive, POV, original-research and anti-consensus edits again and again. (talk) 08:56, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Before thinking that consensus is binding, you should read WP:CCC. The added content was cited with reliable sources that India supported in the conflict. Whether or not India gave military supply (though that too is disputed) is one thing, and support can still offered without it. What you are doing here is combining referernced content (that too assumed since you didn't cite any so I'll say WP:OR) to WP:SYNTH your point of view. --lTopGunl (talk) 10:21, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Hassan, the "cited" reference is precisely what has been bandied about here for ages. And if you bothered to read what has been written above, you would have noticed that I have already mentioned why the "cited" reference actually says precisely the opposite of what is being claimed -- did you even read what has been written above? Go and add the British Empire's name to the list of co-belligerents of Nazi Germany in WW2 if you get the analogy. Moreover, this very same article says categorically (properly referenced) that India refused to participate in the war or even support the Soviet Union diplomatically. The recent anti-consensus edit by User talk: actually makes the article self-contradictory. And consensus has already been made thrice on this very same issue -- again, why don't you bother to read the links I have shared above? In any case, who are you to simply revert the edit and status quo -- it is backed by consensus, that is clearly borne about by the talk pages archives I have shared and it is clearly on my side. Your point of view is obviously WP:OR. Also read WP:CCC while you are at it. (talk) 18:57, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
And another thing, Hassan, build a new consensus here before reverting my edit again -- PLEASE STOP EDIT WARRING AND VANDALIZING THIS PAGE IMMEDIATELY. The current consensus and status quo are clearly on my side -- if you want to build a new consensus, then let me try and get the other people who had contributed to the discussions the last three times on this very talk page again and we can listen to everybody's arguments. Till then, stop edit warring on the article itself and say something technically useful on the article discussion / point at hand here itself instead of bandying about WP:this and WP:that. (talk) 19:04, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether you are discussing here or not. If you continue to revert you are editwaring and I will report you if you do - you've already been given a last warning by an administrator over this. The fact that this was a standing version of the article makes this a status quo and not what you assume. I've seen those discussions and still decided to keep this content. You are free to discuss the matter here, Calling in editors of your choice is WP:CANVASSING and I will report you if you do. Your rant about "British supporting the Nazis" is useless. Please talk in context to what is being cited. The content is sourced and you are free to use WP:3O to ask for a neutral third opinion if you disagree. --lTopGunl (talk) 22:36, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Ha ha Hassan ... I just saw your contribs for the past few months and am beginning to wonder whether you do anything else other than fighting and "reporting" people all day long :-) Firstly, IT DOES MATTER whether we are discussing here or not. That's the whole point, right? Talk pages? Dispute resolution and discussion and consensus? Surely a wikipedia-geek (is there a WP:something for that too?) knows that. Anyway, it takes two to edit-war -- how come I am the one indulging in it and you are not -- you have been reverting consensus-backed edits continuously and repeatedly. Secondly, the status quo is the one on which consensus was built. Not some temporally existing version -- otherwise even reverting vandalism would be breaking status quo, ha ha! Thirdly, it is again perfectly alright and desirable to notify others of what is happening in the articles of their interest. Fourthly, my analogous argument about the British tacit support for Nazi Germany's annexation of Sudetenland makes perfect sense (at least to those who have read and learnt history from "good" textbooks). And I have been talking in context of the current point all throughout -- you're the one who thinks he owns this article (wow, I just noticed there's a WP:OWN for this -- you like these WP:stuff don't you? :-). So stop editing against the consensus built repeatedly over the past 12 months and pushing your POV. YOU want to change the consensus (which is currently on my side) so YOU are free to use this or that or go wherever for your opinions if you disagree. (talk) 23:02, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────When you come back from your block may be you can revive this discussion in a civil manner. --lTopGunl (talk) 23:29, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

May you please cite anything that stays in the article that says the "opposite" of that India supported Afghan government? May you please write a sentence here that stays in the article that makes the illusion of "the opposite"? -- (talk) 00:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Uuuuhhh... "Supported by" doesn't mean that any troops was sent there. That refers to supporting it with giving humanitarian/military/financial AID to the former Afghan government. (talk) 00:15, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

To be listed as a belligerent, a country or organisation has to be involved in hostilities. A nation cannot be a belligerent just because it supplied humanitarian aid to one of the parties in the conflict. In fact, even if a country sold weapons and military hardware to one of the fighting nations, it still cannot be considered as a belligerent, unless one of its own military units was somehow involved in the fight. Tigerassault (talk) 16:41, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

It specifically mentions it in the "supported by" list for that purpose. The fact that India only sent humanitarian aid is disputed. --lTopGunl (talk) 16:45, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I fully agree with Tigerassault in that the nations currently listed as belligerents have no place in the info box as they were not belligerents. (talk) 11:32, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, such drive by removals, editwar and possible socking does not form a consensus... especially when the IP 202 has been canvassing users. --lTopGunl (talk) 07:15, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi, I do not know how to make the write ups for discussion here, in the talk page I mean, so please forgive me if I am committing any mistakes. What really perplexes me is how can India be considered a "belligerent" when the role of India in the Afghanistan war does not, even remotely, fit the definition of a belligerent. The cited footnotes talk merely about India's agreeing to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. India clearly, and actively, voiced its non-aligned status throughout the war - how that makes India a belligerent in the war is a puzzle. Is there anyone who can clarify this? Basically, what I mean to ask is, why India has been entered as a belligerent on the basis of an utterly incomplete, vague, and disputable article? Except for this Wikipedia entry, no reputable source can be cited that points at India in playing any role, whatsoever, in the Afghan war.

Also, the funniest contradiction in the article itself is seen in the section "Consequences of War", in the last line of the subsection "International Reaction", which clearly states "India, a close ally of the Soviet Union, refused to support the Afghan war." ( Makes me wonder that in spite of the proof within the article, what kind of ingenuity made someone put India's name as a belligerent in there.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Bharat (talkcontribs) 21:01, 11 June 2012 (UTC)