The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War (Ali A. Jalali and Lester Grau)

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In 1996, The USMC commissioned Ali Jalali and Les Grau to travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan to interview Mujahideen commanders about their combat experience in fighting in the Soviet-Afghan War. Ali was a former Afghan Colonel who attended the Soviet Frunze Academy, fought as a Mujahideen against the Soviets and was a radio journalist for the Pushtu and Dari Voice of America broadcasts. Ali is famous throughout the Afghan community and had amazing entre with all factions. Ali and Les conducted in-depth interviews of Mujahideen commanders in order to gain their tactical insights. This is not a history of the Soviet-Afghan War, although enough history is included to place the events by time and external factors. It is a series of combat vignettes related by Mujahideen participants that shows the good and the bad, the mistakes and successes of guerrillas fighting conventional forces. It is not about right and wrong, rather it is about surviving against the overwhelming firepower and technology of a superpower. It is the story of combat from the guerrilla’s perspective-the story of brave people who fought without hope of winning because it was the right thing to do. The book has been translated into Dari and distributed within the Afghan Armed Forces.