chapter  5
19 Pages

Soviet Options

WithAmin Saikal, William Maley

From 1986 the Soviets pursued a two-dimensional strategy in keeping with the policy lines set out in Mikhail Gorbachev's Vladivostok remarks. To demonstrate the sincerity of his call for a political settlement, he proposed to pull out six Soviet regiments-one tank, two motorised infantry and three anti-aircraft regiments before the end of the year. In respect of the first objective, while intensifying their military operations against the Mujahideen to an unprecedented level throughout the country, with special stress on the provinces bordering Pakistan, the Soviets launched a vigorous campaign to overhaul the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan by securing a more effective leadership for it. The Mujahideen viewed Soviet activity as part of a well calculated ploy which sought to use political means, against the background of military failure, to confuse and divide the Afghan people and to undermine international support for the resistance.