From a reader:
Forced Urbanization: How Socialists Can Defeat Insurgencies
One of the main reasons why the Communists won the Russian Civil War was because they controlled Leningrad and Moscow, the two centers of political and industrial power in Russia. Within these cities, political workers’ unions could maintain control over the crowds, while the NKVD could make midnight arrests. When the Communists took over parts of the Russian countryside, they would often empty the villages and send anyone who wasn’t scheduled for execution to be resettled the cities. Thus, the possibility of a rural insurgency rapidly disappeared.
In contrast, this process never took place in Afghanistan. The Soviets made large sweeps through the countryside, but did not forcibly separate the civilian population from the guerrillas. The Mujahedeen were mountain-fighters, rather than urban specialists, and so long as they could hide among civilians, they could escape surveillance. The civilians also remained…