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MOSCOW, February 12 (Itar-Tass) - The Pentagon is closely analysing the Afghan experience of the U.S. and its allies and the Soviet Union, too, deputy chairman of the State Duma's defence committee, head of the Russian Union of Afghan War Veterans Franz Klintsevich said on Tuesday.
“We are cooperating with the Americans. Withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan is going to be a complicated task. They are now analyzing and generalizing the experience gained in Afghanistan, as well as the experience of Soviet troops’ military operations in that country,” he told a conference devoted to the reasons for and outcome of the 1979-1989 Soviet war in Afghanistan at the World War II Museum in Moscow on Tuesday.
He added the Soviet contingent slightly exceeded 100,000 officers and men and confronted more than 200,000 well-trained mujahideen supported by many Western countries, while the current armed forces located in Afghanistan consist of almost 130,000 of coalition troops and 120,000-160,000 private contractors. Klintsevich placed an emphasis on the fact that the allies’ forces were now fighting militants they had trained themselves.
“The coalition forces are not fighting better than the Soviet troops. Their losses are now similar to those our forces sustained in Afghanistan. But I need to say the Americans and their allies have never been engaged in military actions as intensive and violent as those the Soviet troops experienced in Afghanistan,” said Klintsevich.
The president of the Academy of Military Sciences, Makhmut Gareyev, said American troops would never leave Afghanistan, so the main conclusion one should draw from the war is that Russia should “keep its powder dry”.