Sunday Makhmut Gareev Blogging

I did a post for AFOE about the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and their successful effort to support their allies there afterwards. With Ivan gone, a significant chunk of the mujahedin movement was willing to make terms with the government, and with significant economic and military aid, the government was able to deal with the rest, until the new Russian authorities cut off all assistance in 1992. (To the extent that the Afghan army had hundreds of tanks available to defend Kandahar but no diesel to drive them.) The piece was based on this US Army study (pdf) of the withdrawal.

I’m beginning to think this may be an idea with legs. Here’s “Newshog” Cernig on the Taliban’s internal divisions; here is news of much high-level negotiating between the US and the Afghan government. Here, it seems the Afghan government is looking at setting up a security force for the crucial roads based on “important people” in each province – this is precisely what the Afghan Communists and Soviets did in 1988 in preparation for the withdrawal.

Further, there is a push on for more funding for local development projects, which sounds like a potential way of getting people on board, and the idea of a ring road strategy is being floated. And the advisory/training mission is being doubled.

Now bring on the all party talks. Najibullah got 12-15 Il-76 loads a day plus 600 trucks a week and about $4bn a year, money of the day, in 1989-1992; going by the Viktorfeed stats, the private sector is already doing the air equivalent of that from the UAE, just you don’t know what they are shipping. Talk to Iran, now, as someone once said. And if anyone knows where Makhmut Gareev, who headed the post-withdrawal advisory mission is, you could try talking to him.


  1. 1 arguing about Afghanistan « Alternate Seat of TYR

    […] to be preferred to more violence, if possible. I’ve said before that there might be a lesson in the Soviet withdrawal and the accompanying stabilisation of the Afghan government, which was a sort of mix of all three options – getting Ivan out of the wilds where he […]

  2. 2 random Afghanistan links « Alternate Seat of TYR

    […] preparation and the overall strategy of it give cause for optimism. I’ve thought this before, and then doubted […]




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