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(Alt History Discussion)What If The USSR Won Afghan?

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Aeritai
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(Alt History Discussion)What If The USSR Won Afghan?

Postby Aeritai » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:17 pm

Since 2020 has been a busy and stressful for us all, I thought it would be a good idea to create a what if history thread and discuss the possibilities of what would happen if history went a different way. This is like my scenario threads that I've done in the past except this time we will explore alt history and discuss what could've happened. For our first scenario we will be talking about the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989). As we all know the Soviet Union lost to the mujahideen insurgency with the Soviets withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan. But what if the Soviet Union somehow managed to win the Soviet-Afghan War and was able to occupy the country?

To start off the discussion here are some questions for us to look at.

1. Would the victory in Afghanistan delay the fall of the Soviet Union?

2. Would the Taliban still rise into power?

3. Would Russia be a target of terrorist attacks or would terror attacks continue against the West?

4. Would the new Soviet puppet government keep Afghanistan stable or it would it become unstable as soon as the USSR fell?

What do you think would happen in this alternate history NSG?

My Opinions
Since I am the OP, I will be giving my answers on what I think will happen had the Soviets won the war.

1. I believe the Soviet Union would've still fallen in 1991, despite a victory in Afghanistan since we still have factors that would cause the USSR to fall in the first place.

2. I believe the Taliban would've still risen into power once the Soviets installed a puppet government.

3. I don't know about this question, but I will assume terror attacks will still continue on the West with Russia being a main target for terror attacks.

4. I believe the new Soviet puppet government will be unstable which would cause the Taliban to rise into power and replace the Soviet government.

To sum up my opinion, nothing much will change had the Soviet Union won the war.
Last edited by Aeritai on Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Farnhamia
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Postby Farnhamia » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:27 pm

Do we have to? *rolls eyes in a teenage sort of way*
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Postby Aeritai » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:30 pm

Farnhamia wrote:Do we have to? *rolls eyes in a teenage sort of way*


You don't have to, just thought I would set this thread up for anyone in NSG interested in alt history.
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Postby Farnhamia » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:31 pm

Aeritai wrote:
Farnhamia wrote:Do we have to? *rolls eyes in a teenage sort of way*


You don't have to, just thought I would set this thread up for anyone in NSG interested in alt history.

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Postby FNU » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:34 pm

I'd say this would give enough life support to keep the Union alive until 92', and then it'd kick it.
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Aeritai
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Postby Aeritai » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:38 pm

FNU wrote:I'd say this would give enough life support to keep the Union alive until 92', and then it'd kick it.


Are you sure the Soviets would last until 92'? I'm pretty sure it would still have the problems it had during 91'
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Postby Arcturus Novus » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:28 pm

I don't think much would happen. Maybe the Taliban would have a different level of control over the country, and that's a strong maybe. By the time of the Afghan War the Soviet government, mostly thanks to Gorbachev but really due to a number of factors after the death of Stalin in '53, was already dying. A victory in a nowhere country with questionable tactical and resource value wouldn't have saved it.
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Postby The Rhomanian Empire » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:32 pm

I think the Soviets might've been able to use the victory to shore up enough patriotic fervor to last an extra year or two, but ultimately would've still fallen. The Taliban might have some scratches from attempted purging by the Soviet puppet government but would probably be unaffected. Russia might be a bigger target for terrorist attacks as vengeance. It would interesting if all this causes Russia to take a bigger part in the War on Terror or take a more brutal stance against the Chechens.
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Postby Aeritai » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:02 pm

Arcturus Novus wrote:I don't think much would happen. Maybe the Taliban would have a different level of control over the country, and that's a strong maybe. By the time of the Afghan War the Soviet government, mostly thanks to Gorbachev but really due to a number of factors after the death of Stalin in '53, was already dying. A victory in a nowhere country with questionable tactical and resource value wouldn't have saved it.


I agree even if the Soviets had conquered the country there would still be unrest in the union.

The Rhomanian Empire wrote:I think the Soviets might've been able to use the victory to shore up enough patriotic fervor to last an extra year or two, but ultimately would've still fallen. The Taliban might have some scratches from attempted purging by the Soviet puppet government but would probably be unaffected. Russia might be a bigger target for terrorist attacks as vengeance. It would interesting if all this causes Russia to take a bigger part in the War on Terror or take a more brutal stance against the Chechens.


While I'm sure there will be a minority that would feel patriotic over the victory there will also be a majority that will see the victory in Afghanistan as pointless. And I agree it would be interesting to see if Russia was more active during the war on terror.
Last edited by Aeritai on Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Salus Maior » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:12 pm

The deep-seated economic problems would still be problems, to put it simply.

So, it wouldn't exactly be rosy in the Soviet Union.
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Postby Aeritai » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:36 pm

Salus Maior wrote:The deep-seated economic problems would still be problems, to put it simply.

So, it wouldn't exactly be rosy in the Soviet Union.


Agreed
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Postby Page » Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:44 am

I don't think it would have changed much. If the Soviets won a quick victory and annihilated the Mujahideen in a matter of months then maybe they would have gone on longer but if they waged the war for as long as they did in real history and then won, it would have been a pyrrhic victory not really better than losing.

I don't think the Soviets' greatest problem was their economy nor all the money and manpower they wasted in the graveyard of empires but rather that it was extremely difficult to hold together so many ethnic groups, many of whom hated each other.

Now some people would say that means multiculturalism is what took down the USSR but those people would be wrong, because the Soviet Union wasn't really a melting pot, the various cultures didn't merge all that much, they stayed isolated but ruled by one government, and much of that was due to the sheer distance, all the mountains and steppes that kept people apart.
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Postby Esheaun Stroakuss » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:21 am

Not a lot. The USSR would still have collapsed.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:44 am

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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:57 am

Esheaun Stroakuss wrote:Not a lot. The USSR would still have collapsed.


Would it have collapsed anywhere near as quickly though?

1. Either Afghanistan was let go early on, or there had been no successful uprising: USSR probably OK
2. With a more hard-line leader than Gorbachev: massively escalate the war, kill most of the Afghans: USSR falls but only much later.
3. Stayed in Afghanistan but continuing to take heavy casualties: USSR falls SOONER, prob in a bloody military coup
4. What actually happened: just enough losses to create military discontent, but not rebellion. No victory to announce, hence popular discontent. USSR falls gracefully.

It's not hard to give Gorbachev credit for engineering the dissolution of the USSR. That he failed to retain power and lead Russia through the difficult transition to social democracy is a sorry end, but barely more than a detail to such a historic change.
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Postby The New California Republic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:01 am

Aeritai wrote:1. Would the victory in Afghanistan delay the fall of the Soviet Union?

No. The reason it was a catalyst was due to the casualties being common knowledge. Victory with the same number of casualties would still have had the same effect.

Aeritai wrote:2. Would the Taliban still rise into power?

Depends how stable the post-war regime was. If the Taliban did exist, then their existence would have come much later.

Aeritai wrote:3. Would Russia be a target of terrorist attacks or would terror attacks continue against the West?

Is this assuming that the Soviet system is still in place? If so, then the KGB would keep a firm lid on any terrorism on Soviet soil.

Aeritai wrote:4. Would the new Soviet puppet government keep Afghanistan stable or it would it become unstable as soon as the USSR fell?

The financial and material support from the Soviet Union would dry up, which would make them vulnerable.
Last edited by Sigmund Freud on Sat Sep 23, 1939 2:23 am, edited 999 times in total.

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Postby Esheaun Stroakuss » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:05 am

The USSR's collapse was somewhat overdue. In no way was an autocratic, authoritarian regime like that going to last regardless of if it won Afghanistan.

Come to think of it, didn't the USSR practice imperialism despite denouncing imperialism in the West?
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Postby The New California Republic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:10 am

Esheaun Stroakuss wrote:Come to think of it, didn't the USSR practice imperialism despite denouncing imperialism in the West?

From a book I have on my shelf, this quote is next to a picture of a T-55 in Prague in '68:

The policy of the USSR towards its neighbouring states is indistinguishable from that of Imperialist Russia.
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Postby Esheaun Stroakuss » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:19 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Esheaun Stroakuss wrote:Come to think of it, didn't the USSR practice imperialism despite denouncing imperialism in the West?

From a book I have on my shelf, this quote is next to a picture of a T-55 in Prague in '68:

The policy of the USSR towards its neighbouring states is indistinguishable from that of Imperialist Russia.


Which made them hypocrites.

Also for some reason, though he claimed to be above nationalities and states, Stalin really pushed hard on the Russian nationalism in the 1930s. Almost as though the USSR was shaped to reflect him as a God and not to actually, you know, abolish the Empire and nationstates within it to achieve communism.

Oh and the Holodomor and "deportations" of kulaks and non Russians might have something to do with it.
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Postby Feyrisshire » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:41 am

While the Soviet-Afghan War did have a contribution to the fall of the USSR, whatever it was was minor and in the big picture - insignificant. The USSR was able to survive long bloody wars when its economy and military was in an even more sorry state such as the Russian Civil War and WWII, it was able to weather long protracted guerilla struggles such as the Forest Brothers. It was also involved in questionable foreign ventures in the Third World yet it survived - all making us question why would a war in a backwater country would suddenly be important for its downfall.

The fall of the USSR really had nothing to do with economic or military factors really, and had more to do with political factors - such as the rising discontent among the Soviet republics that had accumulated under Khrushchev and Brezhnev which they did nothing to solve; the rampant revisionism within the CPSU which veered the USSR into liberalism and market liberalization - this was really all the fuel that Gorbachev set ablaze with his disastrous perestroika and glasnost. A more hardliner Soviet regime akin to Yuri Andropov would have pursued a perestroika without the glasnost, which would have definitely made the USSR survive and veer it into a more liberal road akin to modern China.

The question of a surviving Communist regime in Afghanistan had really nothing to do with what the USSR does. The nominally Marxist regime in Afghanistan simply wasn't able to win much support with the rural Afghan peasantry - which was still largely conservative and was rallied upon by the Islamist warlords and landlords. It also does not help the fact that Soviet intervention was opposed by US, Islamists like Saudi and Pakistan, and China, but either a withdrawal or a victory would not really changed much had the politics in the CPSU swayed another way.
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Postby The New California Republic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:47 am

Feyrisshire wrote:The fall of the USSR really had nothing to do with economic [...] factors really

Sorry but it actually did. The stagnating economy did fuel dissent in the satellite states. Without the Brezhnev Stagnation it's debatable whether the collapse would have still happened.
Last edited by Sigmund Freud on Sat Sep 23, 1939 2:23 am, edited 999 times in total.

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Postby Feyrisshire » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:01 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Feyrisshire wrote:The fall of the USSR really had nothing to do with economic [...] factors really

Sorry but it actually did. The stagnating economy did fuel dissent in the satellite states. Without the Brezhnev Stagnation it's debatable whether the collapse would have still happened.


It's dubious what kind of dissent would a "stagnating economy" create for the majority of the population if the USSR didn't really have any problems maintaining a welfare state during 1960s-early 1980s, esp. if most people have access to free housing, healthcare, education, etc. In fact, all of the dissent and the revival of nationalism coincided upon the onset of Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost, when the social safety net was cut and people lost access to services - even increasing dissent further.

The problems the USSR experienced weren't really as dire in the Breshnev stagnation as in the perestroika and glasnost, meaning that that's the direct catalyst for most of the disastrous changes.
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Postby The New California Republic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:04 am

Feyrisshire wrote:
The New California Republic wrote:Sorry but it actually did. The stagnating economy did fuel dissent in the satellite states. Without the Brezhnev Stagnation it's debatable whether the collapse would have still happened.


It's dubious what kind of dissent would a "stagnating economy" create for the majority of the population if the USSR didn't really have any problems maintaining a welfare state during 1960s-early 1980s, esp. if most people have access to free housing, healthcare, education, etc. In fact, all of the dissent and the revival of nationalism coincided upon the onset of Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost, when the social safety net was cut and people lost access to services - even increasing dissent further.

The problems the USSR experienced weren't really as dire in the Breshnev stagnation as in the perestroika and glasnost, meaning that that's the direct catalyst for most of the disastrous changes.

One of the key aspects of Perestroika was economic reform, because they realised how dire the economic situation was. One of the causes of the collapse was economic, that point is undeniable and non-negotiable.
Last edited by Sigmund Freud on Sat Sep 23, 1939 2:23 am, edited 999 times in total.

The Irradiated Wasteland of The New California Republic: depicting the expanded NCR, several years after the total victory over Caesar's Legion, and the annexation of New Vegas and its surrounding areas.

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Postby Feyrisshire » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:09 am

The New California Republic wrote:One of the key aspects of Perestroika was economic reform, because they realised how dire the economic situation was. One of the causes of the collapse was economic, that point is undeniable and non-negotiable.


But economic reform was nothing new in the USSR, nor was Gorbachev the first to realize that they were stagnating. Economic reform has already been done by Brezhnev and Kosygin, through Liberman and Kosygin's reforms. Profitability was introduced into state enterprises to increase output. Brezhnev and Kosygin's liberal reforms didn't create the disastrous consequences that Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost did.

Why did Brezhnev and Kosygin's market liberalization reforms did not lead to the collapse of the USSR but Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost did?
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:12 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Feyrisshire wrote:The fall of the USSR really had nothing to do with economic [...] factors really

Sorry but it actually did. The stagnating economy did fuel dissent in the satellite states. Without the Brezhnev Stagnation it's debatable whether the collapse would have still happened.


This sounds right. I think the Moscow region was always quite prosperous, and a few regions kept economically healthy for strategic reasons. It's the pattern in a lot of regular countries actually: the government and big business are in the capital and biggest city (I guess substitute 'bureaucracy' for 'big business' in the USSR case) and because both tend to gather tax or profit from afield there's a permanent state of stimulus in and around the capital. Beyond a certain size, that's bound to fail some time.

The US is pretty big in various ways but seems to have avoided the pitfall of 'biggest city is the Capital and attracts business', mainly by the device of the States but also by not planting the Capitol in Philadelphia (~40,000) or New York City (~25,000).
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