Afghan Resistance: Past, Present, and Future

Armchair strategists analyzing the far-reaching impli-
cations of Soviet intervention in Afghanistan tend to ignore or under-
emphasize one very important reality: The Soviet occupation of Af-
ghanistan is not yet an established fact. The Afghan resistance movement
has become a national liberation war, posing a real and formidable
challenge to Soviet control over Afghanistan. Six months after the Soviet
intervention in December 1979, Brezhnev claimed in the plenary session
of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union:
“Now life in Afghanistan is gradually returning to normal. Large bands of
counterrevolutionaries have been routed, and interventionists have suf-
fered a serious defeat.”‘ But four years later, the Soviet media continue
to report “counterrevolutionary” activities, admitting that “many public
institutions in Afghanistan have been destroyed. Industrial enterprises,
utility lines and irrigation systems have become targets of sabotage,
costing Afghan industry alone 2.8 billion Afghanis.3 On April 11, 1983,
Kabul Radio carried a broadcast in which Prime Minister Sultan Ali
Keshtmand revealed that half of Afghanistan’s hospitals and schools have
been destroyed and three-quarters of the country’s communications have
been disrupted by the guerrillas.4