Why didin't other Warsaw Pact countries take part in the Soviet war in Afghanistan?

Oct 2015
886
Norway
#1
Many NATO countries take part or have taken part in the current war in Afghanistan. Why didn't any of the then Warsaw Pact countries help the USSR when they were at war in Afghanistan in the 1980's? Were they occupied in the cold war conflict in Europe? Perhaps no-one saw Afghanistan as a threath to anyone outside the country back then, unlike the Taliban and al Queda in this millenium?
Was involving the other WP countries evder an issue? I see the WP countries as more under the control of the USSR than NATO ever was. Case in point: the USA naver invaded any NATO countries to keep them politically in line.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,366
US
#2
Good question. I know the Warsaw Pact as a defensive pact. It was used within the Bloc only, as you have posed. Maybe this is the reason? None of the other Pact nations bordered Afghanistan, so there was no direct danger to them. Also, by the mid 1980s, when the conflict intensified, as some of the Pact nations were trying to pull away from the Soviet's influence.
 
Oct 2015
886
Norway
#3
WP a defensive pact? I don't think so. As a rule of thumb defensive forces don't have to be nearly as large as a forces intended to attack. Today teh South Korean forces a re smaller than the North Korean. The WP forces were always larger than the NATO forces, especially in Europe. The WP also prodused "occupation money" and identification papers to be ready for the day they were needed. WP countries were isued fronts and countries by the USSR that they would attack in case of war. Poland was issued Denmark and southern Norway, so they stored weapons, exposives and communications equipment in secret in those countries. It's likely the other WP countries prepared in the same way. Not the type of thing a defensive pact would do.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,474
Dispargum
#5
The Soviets were more than capable of double speak. They also believed the best defense was a good offense. Most of the NATO WW3 scenarios envisioned an attack by the Warsaw Pact that was justified on the grounds of "NATO is about to attack us, so we [the Warsaw Pact] are going to attack first." It didn't have to be true. It only had to be something the Communists could talk themselves into believing. As George Kennan said, 'the primary psychological factor of the Soviet leadership is paranoia.' So the Soviets could call the Warsaw Pact a defensive pact and still have a mostly offensive doctrine.

As to Afghanistan, that was outside of the Warsaw Pact's charter. Also, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Poland was on the brink of revolution. Some of the other member states were also less than completely reliable. Romania apparently interpreted the defensive nature of the Warsaw Pact far more literally than the Soviets did. Romania refused to take part in any offensive planning by the rest of the Warsaw Pact.

There's also the possibility that the Soviets did not want to share any of the credit had the war gone well for them. And the Russians, going back to the Czars, had always considered Afghanistan in their sphere of influence. They would not willingly invite other countries into their sphere of influence.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,222
SoCal
#6
Many NATO countries take part or have taken part in the current war in Afghanistan. Why didn't any of the then Warsaw Pact countries help the USSR when they were at war in Afghanistan in the 1980's? Were they occupied in the cold war conflict in Europe? Perhaps no-one saw Afghanistan as a threath to anyone outside the country back then, unlike the Taliban and al Queda in this millenium?
Was involving the other WP countries evder an issue? I see the WP countries as more under the control of the USSR than NATO ever was. Case in point: the USA naver invaded any NATO countries to keep them politically in line.
As Chlodio said, Poland was really heating up during this time and Romania wasn't always a reliable ally. Thus, it's possible that the Soviet Union was afraid of more rebellion and dissent within the Warsaw Pact countries if it tried to force or pressure these countries into participating in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Considering that the Soviet Union was willing to let Poland leave its sphere of influence as opposed to using force to crush Solidarity, I suspect that the Soviet Union did not want to see a push in other Warsaw Pact countries to leave the Soviet sphere of influence.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,776
Las Vegas, NV USA
#8
The NATO alliance members are expected to act only if one of its members is attacked by a non-member. It was activated after the 9/11 attack on the US. Other NATO members sent troops to Afghanistan in the early phases: UK, Canada, Australia and Germany. Later many others, both NATO and other countries participated in some way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2001–present)
 
Likes: Futurist

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