The former Taliban government official – who served as a mujahideen commander until 1992 – reminded me that the Soviet army was larger and more powerful than the coalition today, with more than 100,000 troops, and that the Afghan government they supported was stronger than the current one as well.
“The end will be like with the Russians,” he said. “The Americans will never succeed in containing the conflict. There will be more bleeding, the evacuation of foreigners. It’s coming to the same situation – by 1985 or 1986, the Communist forces held only the provincial capitals. There were 465,000 military and civilian members of the puppet government. But the Russians were still confined to their bases.”