Twenty years after Red Army troops pulled out of Afghanistan, the last general to command them says the Soviets' devastating experience is a dismal omen for U.S. plans to build up troops there.
Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has made the same suggestion recently, saying the alliance has repeated the Soviet Union's mistakes in Afghanistan and added its own.
Gen. Boris Gromov's view: "Afghanistan taught us an invaluable lesson ... It has been and always will be impossible to solve political problems using force."
He told reporters that U.S. plans to send thousands of new troops to Afghanistan would make no difference against a resurgent Taliban, who came to power in 1996 in the chaos after the Soviet withdrawal. "One can increase the forces or not--it won't lead to anything but a negative result," Gromov said.