Unconventional Warfare: The Mujahidin of Afghanistan

4 April 2015
A paper which studies the success of the anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan.

Resistance “with the proper tools, strategy, and determination” can countermeasure any unwanted entity. This paper shows how the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan not only pushed the invaders out of their country, but helped precipitate the eventual fall of the USSR as a world power. The paper studies the question: How did the Soviets lose that war, or how did the Mujahidin “the soldiers of God” win?
“The Afghan resistance fighters, under the guidance of their Islamic mullahs and provincial warlords, devised effective tactics and strategies to engage the large Soviet and pro-Soviet forces: avoid direct combat with a superior force; use the element of surprise; attack more at night; yield a battlefield to the enemy if it means a large result of death for the resistance forces; conduct terror and disinformation campaigns in enemy-held villages. These soldiers of God would conduct successful ambushes through the course of the war. They would attack small convoys through mountainous routes if they were lightly armed; they would attack larger forces within small valley or ravines by destroying lead and aft position vehicles to cause a jam and create confusion and panic as soldiers; they would disguise themselves as pro-Soviet soldiers and conduct disinformation campaigns in local villages to create disorder and add to the confusion amongst the rumor-mill of the local populace; or they would infiltrate fire bases and conduct small raiding parties upon equipment or supplies, destroying what they could quickly, and withdrawing back into the mountains.”
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