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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:11 AM   #1
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Your views on Ahmed Shah Massoud as a military strategist

I see him right up there with the likes of Genghis, Alexander, Cesar,Khalid ibn Walid, Hannibal, Chanakya, Tsun Zu and Napoleon

Considering the fact that he could not be exterminated by the Soviets in the height of Cold war Era despite having a hostile communist government in Kabul. His party functionaries in Pakistan were corrupt lead by Rabbani who never sent American money and weapons to clip his wings. He continued to resist.

His greatest moment was when he collected intelligence about the Soviet air strikes on the Panjsheer and he collected the entire population of that area and went to a safer haven in the ravines. When Soviet aircrafts attacked the main fortress, they found the whole place deserted.

Eventually when the Afghan communsit government was set to fall, he managed to capture Kabul despite delaying his entry waiting for Hekmatyar with ISI support double crossing him. His tactical win over a superior Hekmatyar force was a thing to behold. Not only that two years later his Uzbeg ally General Dostum deserted him at a key time and joined ISI and Hekmatyar to take Kabul. Yet again he won and held Kabul. Finally he underwent a tactical retreat due to lacking resources against the emerging Taliban coming down South.

He held the Panjshir Valley as his fortress and despite lack of international support, fewer weapons, thinning army, lack of funds; using emerald trade and drug smuggling he managed to raise money to hold fort. When Taliban entered the outskirts of his territory there was a border area which he and the Taliban kept trading and winning back many times in battle. But the Panjsheer valley was his battelground. When they entered the outskirts of the Valley at their best, he retreated inwards and attacked them from peaks and sent them backwards.

Finally his mounting charge with renewed vigor to hold himself from his fortress and after biding his time for more than a decade, he launched a full scale invasion leading to the utter decimation of the Taliban, unfortunately he never lived to see their end. Truly the Lion of the Panjsheer Valley.

Probably he is underestimated because he did not have a world power at his disposal but for me a true general is a person who can maximise what he has in hand rather than someone who wins purely on pre existing strengths. For me is amongst the elite military commanders the world has ever seen.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:33 AM   #2

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I dont know a huge amount of detail about him, but from what I do know, he was a talented man all around, both politically and militarily, and he took on both the Russians and the Taliban. He understoood perfectly from early experience, that assymetric warfare was the way to combat the Russians effectively and also that winning "hearts and minds" as the due process to make this successful.

Unfortunately he was assassinated. I wouldn't compare him with Napoleon, Caesar or Alexander, because they were conquerors, whereas from what I know he was more a liberator.

There was no doubt he was charismatic, determined and single minded in protecting his people. I would honestly compare him more with Washington on the basis that he had a knack for seizing the moment whilst retaining the belief of his people.

My two cents, anyway

Edit: He did also give a prophetic warning about problems that would arise for america and the world if they did not stop the Taliban, before his assassination and then subsequent attacks on America, iirc.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #3

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Originally Posted by Mangekyou View Post

Edit: He did also give a prophetic warning about problems that would arise for america and the world if they did not stop the Taliban, before his assassination and then subsequent attacks on America, iirc.
Which came a day afterwards. Yes, i can't but admire the man's accomplishments myself. Though i do need to read up more about him.
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