The Soviet Troops Who Stayed Behind

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John Wendle

Remember those long-ago black-and-white films of Japanese World War II soldiers blinking their way into daylight a decade or more after the war was over? They’d emerge from a cave on some Pacific atoll promising to fight on for the Emperor…

Something similar has happened in Afghanistan, among Soviet troops who decided to stay after Moscow’s ill-fated 1979 invasion ended in retreat a decade later. They tended to be deserters, MIAs, or former POWs. These guys know their war is over, but they have some fascinating observations on the U.S.-led one now roiling their adopted land.

Time’s John Wendle has the story from Kunduz.

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If the U.S.A. seek independent evaluations of their Afghanistan War, that's perfectly alright. But why ask measly, Talibanized, ex-Soviet deserters and P.O.W.s about their private opinions?

IF the U.S. Americans were smart ( YES , I'm daydreaming), then they would invite the ex-Soviet generals who fought in Afghanistan themselves as military advisors, and maybe even some former special troops! (Karzai's face...) But can one really expect such a radical, uncomplexed pragmatism from the U.S.A.?

According to the well-informed U.S. brass, “Russians are experienced enough” to join RimPac 2012, although former Tsarist, former Soviet and Russian warships NEVER fought in the Pacific Ocean since 1905, but not experienced enough to teach them a thing or two about Afghanistan, where they fought for 10 years straight!!! F*****g U.S. intelligence at is finest...

And there ARE even precedents for that: Our French Vietnam (“Indochina”) War lasted from 1946 – 1954, the U.S. American Vietnam War immediately afterwards from 1955 – 1975. During your Vietnam War, the U.S.A. invited some French generals who had fought there until the year before as their advisors. In theory this idea was clever, but in practice it turned out to be a perfectly symbolic, hypocritical, vain gesture: Do you really think that the U.S. generals EVER asked our French generals ANYTHING AT ALL ?


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