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Spetsnaz in Afghanistan

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Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 06 Nov 2009, 08:47
Quote:
There is a difference between being unable to control your border and actively supporting Mujihideen forces in the border area with your military and secret service, coordinating virtually all the arms and support coming from the US, China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The problem the Soviets faced due to Pakistan's porous border was far worse than that faced by the US and NATO forces today.


Arguably so. But that only strengthens my point. The issue wasn't the equipment, it was control of the border, and of the territory as a whole. Not enough boots on the ground is just that. Air-mobile units were used to make up for smaller numbers, and allowed the USSR to massacre insurgents by the bucketload. But at the end of the day, it was a war of attrition, where both sides had supply lines that were invicible to the other side.

Quote:
Andropov perceived the existence of Soviet troops in Afghanistan as a potential bargaining chip for negotiations which might lead to the withdrawl of Pakistani support for the insurgency. He obviously felt confident by 1983-84 that with the loss of Pakistani support the insurgency could be contained. As for the Party quarreling with the army, I find that difficult to accept, at least at the pinnacle of power, considering Andropov and Ustinov were close friends and political allies (now's the part where you tell me that Ustinov was an armaments procurement bureaucrat with no knowledge of military affairs).


I'm not a specialist on internal politics of that time period. If you want I'll dig up the source for my claim. Objective military reality, though, supports my point nonetheless. More boots were needed on the ground.

About Suvorov, my point isn't that he's correct. My point is that objectives are subjective by their very nature as we can not know the true intent of others. We only have our perception of their intent. They are doubly subjective because they do not exist outside of the intent of the players.
banistansig1
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 06 Nov 2009, 09:05
TRL. You use lots of complicated language (to make you look smart) but ultimately, you argue very little.

Quote:
Objective military reality, though, supports my point nonetheless. More boots were needed on the ground.


This is a perfect example of what I mean. What is objective military reality and how does it support your claim?
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Soviet cogitations: 4510
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 06 Nov 2009, 09:54
TRL, if in the 1980s insurgents were leaking through the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, but had no official support from the Pakistani government, due to an agreement with the Soviets which saw support cut off in exchange for military withdrawal, I think the DRA forces, which managed to hold out for a long time after the Soviets left, could manage to gradually take back and stabilize their country, and with the help of Spetsnaz forces they could do it faster. That was my original point.

I am in agreement by the way with the 'more boots on the ground' argument. I might have even stated it on the forum previously. It's just that I'm coming to think that the resources needed for the ideal military solution couldn't be realistically deployed, given the potential severe consequences on Soviet diplomacy, the economy, and morale at home such a massive deployment would have meant. That's why the diplomatic 'tit for tat' approach was a more realistic solution, in my opinion.

Perhaps I should do more research into the resources Gorbachev granted the army in 1985-1986, which had CIA observers fearing that the insurgency would not last long if the pressures which were applied to them continued to be applied.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 06 Nov 2009, 11:17
Quote:
This is a perfect example of what I mean. What is objective military reality and how does it support your claim?


The reality is a porous border, with massive arms traffic supported by the US. If you can't keep track of the argument then why do you bother replying? Do you have a contention with my main points or not?
banistansig1
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 06 Nov 2009, 13:44
Roy and Soviet78 have already done a fine job disputing your claims. Also, you didn't answer my question.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 07 Nov 2009, 02:20
You question was, what objective reality am I referencing? My response was: The reality is a porous border, with massive arms traffic supported by the US.

What do you not understand?
banistansig1
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Politburo
Post 07 Nov 2009, 02:42
I don't consider that a satisfactory answer.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 07 Nov 2009, 02:45
....... ok you're not making sense. So I'll go back to the basics for you. My points are 1) the USSR didn't have enough troops on the ground. 2) the issue in Afghanistan is securing the borders and 3) victory in a war is subjective to the objectives put forth by others.
banistansig1
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 07 Nov 2009, 03:14
I will reiterate for you. You said that objective military reality supports your argument that more boots were needed on the ground and I asked you what it is (aside from an intelligent sounding term) and how that reality supports your claim. Your answer was just a description of the situation, not an explanation of the concept and how it specifically supports your argument.

I believe in the maxim that if a person can't explain himself with reasonably simple and straight forward language, he probably doesn't know what he is talking about. It's a common debate tactic to use complicated and vague terms to cover a lack of in depth knowledge or inability to dispute claims made by those opposite effectively. I wanted to see if you could explain your position in a more clear fashion. So far, I haven't been impressed.

Soviet78 quite correctly pointed out that putting more troops on the ground was not a realistic option for political and social reasons. For military strategists and analysts at the time, this was also part of the reality they had to deal with. Even if you choose to write this off as not being part of "military" reality, there are many examples in history were an advantage in manpower didn't guarantee victory. For example, in the Chinese civil war, the Nationalists initially had a manpower advantage over the Communists, yet the Communists still won. Why? Because they were more successful in gaining the support of the local population.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 07 Nov 2009, 04:55
Ok so objective military reality = the situation on the ground is too complex for you? To vague?

I disagree with the notion that it was not a feasible option. I think it was more then feasible.
banistansig1
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Politburo
Post 07 Nov 2009, 08:01
Quote:
Ok so objective military reality = the situation on the ground is too complex for you? To vague?


If that's how you meant to use the term, than you were just having a literary wank like I was saying. I'm going to assume you aren't going to (or can't) answer my question.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 07 Nov 2009, 08:35
TRL, look back at both the Soviet war and the present NATO one. How are the massive number of troops you're talking about feasible, especially the Soviet 4-5 hundred thousand? If you're looking at military feasability as meaning what resources the Soviets or NATO had/have while ignoring the political, economic and social consequences and restrictions, your position is simplistic and might as well be set in a parallel dimension.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 07 Nov 2009, 23:36
The political issue is debatable but the USSR had the ability to deploy necessary forces and had done so in the past in Czechoslovakia for example where 5 armies simultaneously entered the country. Economically and socially it was more then feasible. Politically, I believe that nuclear deterrence was enough to keep the west from acting.
banistansig1
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Soviet cogitations: 2820
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
Party Bureaucrat
Post 08 Nov 2009, 10:00
Quote:
Secondly you're assuming unitary and rational decision-making on the part of the US. That is not the case. There are competing interest groups within the US. The goals of the war may be dictated by the objectives of one of those groups, even if in the long term it would be detrimental to the US as a whole. Military keynesianism is only one such example. And geopolitical objectives is, I think, exactly what the US is after. Not economic ones, in this case.

Quote:
More importantly the interests of those who want to gain certain results from this war are strong enough to start the war, but not strong enough to push for that kind of effective solution. In the end we come back to the same thing. Victory and defeat is contingent on the objectives. And what if the secret objective of the war is actually to undermine US credibility in the region? What if the war was started by insiders in the US?

==If that is your argument, then you can only say that objectives, and victory and defeat, are subjective to those who started the war, and despite what they may dress themselves up to be, are not one and the same as the whole nation, for the latter, money is spent and lives are lost, and if nothing, or little is gained, then it's objectively a bad outcome.
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Soviet cogitations: 102
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Oct 2009, 14:21
Pioneer
Post 08 Nov 2009, 21:14
Dear Comrades

Thank you for a very interesting topic.

From a Marxist perspective, environment conditions events. Perhaps three areas can be identified;

1) Political.
2) Cultural/religious.
3) Enviromental and climate.

Afghanistan has always provern difficult for incoming forces. The latest bourgeois attempt to de-Islamify it are not working. It may be said that the Afghan insurgency, both against the Soviet Union, and NATO, has an element running through it, that neither the Soviets or Western Capitalists either see, or acknowledge as being effective against their technologically drivern war machine.

Religion is obviously central to the insurgency. It may be that both the Soviets and the Western Capitalists, sort to remove religion as a motivating issue, believing that they could do this with military force. To date, this idea does not seem to be working.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 09 Nov 2009, 05:54
Quote:
If that is your argument, then you can only say that objectives, and victory and defeat, are subjective to those who started the war, and despite what they may dress themselves up to be, are not one and the same as the whole nation, for the latter, money is spent and lives are lost, and if nothing, or little is gained, then it's objectively a bad outcome.


Correct. Except for that last part. There may not be an objective good or bad outcome, because once again there isn't a unitary nation. There are many groups, classes, etc. with conflicting interests. Some may benefit and some may not. The question is who benefits, who loses, and who isn't affected. And what if the majority is unaffected by the war in any major or meaningful way? What then? Is it in the interests of the nation?
banistansig1
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 09 Nov 2009, 05:56
That was an extremely good point, TRL.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 102
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Oct 2009, 14:21
Pioneer
Post 09 Nov 2009, 18:26
Thank you Comrade TheRussianLord

Quote:
Correct. Except for that last part. There may not be an objective good or bad outcome, because once again there isn't a unitary nation. There are many groups, classes, etc. with conflicting interests. Some may benefit and some may not. The question is who benefits, who loses, and who isn't affected. And what if the majority is unaffected by the war in any major or meaningful way? What then? Is it in the interests of the nation?


You make the good observation that 'good' or 'bad' is a relative concept. Using the logic you convey, that is the logic of the 'double bind', we can not know anything for sure, because as soon as an assertion is made, its relative nature negates its premise. Therefore, you can ask your question;

'Who benefits?'

But the question. like any number of its possible answers, are limited to relative constructs. The shocking implication of this, is that we can not be sure about what it is we actually know. The relative nature of this kind of sophistry, tends to obscure that which is clear, and overly simplifies that which is complex. The gist of your point is that 'good' or 'bad' is what we make them, or import into a situation. My point is that from the point of view of the military West, the war is not being won, and does not look likely to be won, unless strategy changes. This does not look likely. As to what the many different groups competing for power and dominance think of the situation, or whether they feel that a 'situation' exists, is of course, matter of debate and opinion.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 10 Nov 2009, 05:38
The point in case is that arguing for victory or defeat is contingent on defined objectives, and therefore subjective by nature. I'll hold my opinion in regards to the defeat of the Taliban, until we can see more. As it stands, NATO is maintaining a stalemate in Afghan.
banistansig1
Soviet cogitations: 102
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Oct 2009, 14:21
Pioneer
Post 10 Nov 2009, 15:44
Dear Comrade TheRussainLord

Quote:
The point in case is that arguing for victory or defeat is contingent on defined objectives, and therefore subjective by nature. I'll hold my opinion in regards to the defeat of the Taliban, until we can see more. As it stands, NATO is maintaining a stalemate in Afghan.


Thank you for a good point, well made. I appreciate your knowledge on this matter.
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