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And, yes, I DO take it personally: A former leader of the Soviet struggle in Afghanistan looks at the U.S. experience and sums things up in a nutshell
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A former leader of the Soviet struggle in Afghanistan looks at the U.S. experience and sums things up in a nutshell

as i sit here at my desk in kabul and ponder what i have seen, experienced and learned over my two visits to this tragic country, i can say unequivocally, truer words were never spoken...
Retired Lt. Gen. Ruslan Aushev served for five years in Afghanistan during the Soviet Union's nearly decade-long battle with mujahedin there.


Neither under you nor under us did an ordinary person get anything.

so, what should be done...?
First, create statehood. Set up a popular authority that would deal with corruption and social issues. Second, a combat-able armed force should be created in Afghanistan. And an economy should be created to help people. If you deploy 200,000 troops there, daytime is your time, you're in command. At night, the Taliban comes and they are in command.

and the taliban...?
No matter what, you won't get away from the Taliban. You need to talk with the Taliban, come to terms. The Taliban should be engaged by the organs of power, they should take part in negotiations. You should find common points with them.

i would add one critically important piece - infrastructure... without roads, electricity, clean water, sanitation, health care, education and employment, there is nothing left but for things here to continue to deteriorate...

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