229. 3/15/1988

The March 1988 National Intelligence Estimate, titled 'USSR: Withdrawal from Afghanistan,' read: " 'We judge that the [Soviet-backed Afghan President] Najibullah regime will not long survive the completion of Soviet withdrawal even with continued Soviet assistance,' the estimate declared. 'The regime may fall before withdrawal is complete.' The replacement government the CIA expected 'will be Islamic–possibly strongly fundamentalist, but not as extreme as Iran. …We cannot be confident of the new government's orientation to the West; at best it will be ambivalent, and at worst it may be actively hostile, especially toward the United States.' " [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Ghost Wars, Steve Coll, 3/15/1988

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