Posted by: Christian | April 3, 2007

The Other Side of the Soviet Invasion

April 3, 2007.

So the Soviets showed up and just started bombing the hell out of Afghanistan, right? All they did was kill, maim and torture, right? Well, at the risk of sounding like an apologist, I feel I must discuss the varied strategies that the Soviets employed. There were incentives as well as disincentives (The carrot versus stick argument). But is this propaganda poster merely……propaganda?

                 University

Rasul Bakhsh Rais noted that while the Soviet Army and the Afghan communist government followed, later in the conflict, a “policy of eviction, bombardment and destruction of infrastructure” in predominantly Pashtun areas, the strategy in the north on the part of the Soviet Union was to deliver aid and development projects as a reward for cooperation (or merely not violently resisting). Many in the north lived through the Soviet-Afghan war in relative peace and prosperity, as these objective fact-based informative representations of reality below prove.

     Roll up your proletariat sleeves!    

 dekhon                                                                                                                 

                Only the finest Parcham socialist mustaches!

              Mustache

      Thank you for this traktor that will break down soon!

                         Tractor

OK, all joking aside, I just wanted to point out that there was not universal resistance to the Soviets (I am not claiming that there there was no resistance to the Soviets in the north) and that the Soviets actually did give development an attempt. You can take the example of the Soviet attempt at “winning hearts and minds” and note either the striking similarity to or the stark difference with the present NATO/ISAF effort in Afghanistan. Though I’m sure a thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis will find that the Soviet stick was wielded much more indiscriminately than the Anglo-American one.

Footnote: The differing Soviet strategy analysis is from Rasul Bakhsh Rais (1999), ‘Conflict in Afghanistan’, Ethnic Studies Report, Vol. 17, No. 1.

You can actually buy these posters here.


Responses

  1. […] writes about the other side of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Nathan […]

  2. Afghanistan: Canadian is the New Soviet

    […]there are many parallels between what NATO is doing in Afghanistan and what the Soviets did. […]

  3. […] Old Soviet Poster of Pashtun farmer/fighter (source): […]

  4. […] out a race.” The Soviet officer calls it propaganda. They are both sorta right and both wrong. An article by Rasul Bakhsh Rais covers both sides. And, would you believe it, you can find Afghans these days with favorable […]


Categories

%d bloggers like this: