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The role of the Stingers tends to be overstated in US accounts perhaps because they were a visible CIA contribution to the Afghan war.

The principle factor in the defeat of the Soviet intervention in the Afghan civil war was Pakistan which offered secure refuge and basing while its ISI ran the Pushtun revolt. The main role of the US was important but passive: to stand menacingly behind Islamabad and together with Saudi fund the revolt. There is no overtly belligerent neighbor in Iraq but you could see Iran as having similar political goals in seeking to control its weaker neighbor. Looking at Iraq the devious Mullahs have achieved far more than the bullheaded ISI in less than a quarter of the time.

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