The 1979 war in Afghanistan which ended in 1989 has brought new dimensions to the art of warfare with effects lingering till today. It had not only been a serious task for the US military and government officials to deal with the situation, but IT experts and corporate sector employees of high and low ranks had contributed hugely towards the victory over the invading Soviet 40th Red Army. In a way, for the US, this war has been a test for establishing superiority of its weapons based on the latest techno-scientific research and development and worldwide intelligence network.

Of course, it is a tedious and complicated, almost impossible task of getting classified information from covert documents. Nevertheless, some hard facts like drone attacks are indicative of the helplessness of the enemy to provide a counter response. Winning a war with surface- to-air missiles known as stingers is an irrefutable argument to assess how far the US military machine is ahead of Russian power. Could anyone speculate the utility of drones before terrorist attacks on the Pak-Afghan border? Now every other person seems at least familiar with what devastation they can cause to human life and property. During this period of 10 years, piles upon piles of information was collected, analyzed and transported through engines like Google and software tools like the internet, hacking, email and so on. In the history of man, the US war in Afghanistan (and Iraq) would be known as the first cyber warfare which aimed not only at security and surveillance but also at offence to break and destroy Soviet military might.

Apart from the use of cyber devices, the US has to constitute many new institutions such as the National Counter Terrorism Centre to meet threats especially from Al-Qaeda—the group which also used the computer and internet extensively to get their activities off the ground. On the contrary, the cyber contribution of the CIA towards the USSR defeat is no more a secret. Without the relevant intelligence, no success was possible in the guerrilla war in the tedious terrain of Afghanistan.

The defeat of the 40th Red Army in Afghanistan has changed the map of the world and the Soviet Union now ceases to exist. The defeat has not only left its signs and marks in Afghanistan, but it has brought much wider results. One historical reality is the union of East and West Germany which emerged after the fall of the Berlin wall, deteriorating further the influence of Russia in the European Continent.

In recent times, the US has found a dependable and trustworthy friend in the form of people and the government of Pakistan. It is a fact that there is hardly any other country in the world which has contributed so much and suffered so heavily economically and (personally) in loss of life as Pakistan has, and yet, no country has been humiliated and criticized for no fault of its own. Is this sacrifice and sincerity not enough proof of friendship with the US government, its allies and their respective people? Any attempt, in or out, to alienate Pakistan is vicious propaganda. There is no need to indulge in the clash of perceptions between friends and foes, the role of the Pakistan Army is an honourable fact of contemporary history. Along with the US, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, the credit for winning the Afghan war goes to Pakistan.

The US economic gains from war are multi- dimensional. At present most of the major oil sources belonging to Asia, supply routes and markets are either accessible or under US control.

However, to interpret the defeat as a victory of capitalism over socialism or democracy over communism is misrepresentation of the whole issue. In the capacity of an objective observer and analyst of events, it can be said that the economic crunch of 2008 brought the liquidation of banks as titanic as Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase and Lehman Brothers. To compensate and reinforce these financial institutions, the US had to borrow money from abroad and give it to the banks to stand once again on their feet. The analyst asks, “Is this direct intrusion with financial support a practice of capitalism or socialism?” One cannot hide one’s face and side-track the answer by labelling this financial activity a “new capitalism.”

Furthermore, the strong and effective alliance of the US with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is the main reason and winning stroke in the Afghan war. Pakistan at that time was ruled by a military dictator, General Zia ul Haq and finance was facilitated by Saudi Arabian King Fahd. Both of them were determined to defeat the aggressor. How on earth can this victory be claimed a defeat of socialism by capitalism when both the winners were far from democratic values? It is thus, wrong to conclude that in the Afghan war, US democratic culture and capitalism were victorious while socialism was the loser. Socialism is not yet dead, for ideas have a miraculous tendency of emerging and staging resurrection. Thus, to bring the whole argument to one general statement and its implications is to assert that the glorious US victory was purely a masterly combination of five important factors: highly advanced techno-scientific war arsenal, the excellent strategy of the Pakistan Army to tackle problems on the battlefield, indomitable courage of the Afghan people, lack of moral ground and obviously, mistakes committed by the Soviets. The same combination can be evolved to defeat the resultant waves of terrorism we face today.