Sunday, November 1, 2009

Afghanistan

Quoth the top military honcho in Afghanistan:

"There is no piece of land in Afghanistan that has not been occupied
by one of our soldiers at some time or another. Nevertheless much of
the territory stays in the hands of the terrorists. We control the
provincial centers, but we cannot maintain political control over the
territory we seize. Our soldiers are not to blame. They've fought
incredibly bravely in adverse conditions. But to occupy towns and
villages temporarily has little value in such a vast land where the
insurgents can just disappear into the hills."

He also requested more troops: "Without them, without a lot more men,
this war will continue for a very, very long time."

The top honcho was Sergei Akhromeyev, the commander of the Soviet
armed forces, reporting to the Soviet Union's Politburo on Nov. 13,
1986, as quoted in the New York Times on Oct. 28. The Times also
quotes Marshal Akhromeyev, reporting to his superiors in November
1986:

"About 99 percent of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in
Afghanistan were won by our side. The problem is that the next morning
there is the same situation as if there had been no battle. The
terrorists are again in the village where they were — or we thought
they were — destroyed a day or so before."

<http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/opinion/29sebestyen.html>