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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform


The Soviet Union transferred hundreds of Scud missiles to the Najibullah government prior to and following its withdrawal from Afghanistan. As a result, Afghanistan has been the site of the most intense missile warfare since the German V-2 raids on London in World War II, with over a thousand missiles reportedly fired. (1) (Nine hundred missiles of all types are believed to have been fired by Iran and Iraq in the Gulf War, of which a less than half were Scuds). The inventory of Scuds in Afghanistan has probably declined substantially as there are no reports of any significant resupply. A military storehouse for Scuds was reportedly destroyed by Mujahedeen rockets in June 1991, likely further reducing the Scud inventory. (2) There have been no allegations that the Scuds in use in Afghanistan have been armed with anything other than conventional high explosives. (3)

1. David B. Ottaway, "Kabul forces gain combat edge," The Washington Post, June 27, 1989, p. A11.

2. "Afghan SCUDS hit by missiles," Wire News Highlights, July 31, 1991.

3. Aaron Karp, "Ballistic Missile Proliferation in the Third World," SIPRI Yearbook 1989: World Armaments and Disarmament, Oxford Univ. Press, 1989, p. 290.

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