Proxy Armies in the 20th Century

Proxy Armies in the 20th Century

Various nations have used proxy armies to fight their wars and to protect their interests

Proxy Armies of the former Soviet Union

Various Marxist rebels were proxy armies for the Soviet Union ranging from Angola to Vietnam. These organizations were supported by the KGB.

Proxy Armies of the United States

The Cuban nationalist rebels and the Bay of Pigs Invasion

The US government used the CIA to train Cuban nationalists to serve as a proxy army for the United States to invade Cuba. The operation ended in a disaster known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Laotian Secret Army and the Vietnam War

The CIA trained Hmong people to create the Laotian secret army to fight the Communists. This operation lasted until 1973.

The Mujahadeen and the Soviet/Afghanistan War

The CIA in cooperation with the Pakistani ISI trained and supported the Mujahadeen Islamic rebels which served as a proxy army for the United States. Many jihadists from Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Muslim World were also trained and sponsored both by the US government and Saudi Arabia which led to the victory of the Mujahadeen and the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1989. One year earlier, Osama Bin Laden who joined the Saudi branch of the Mujahadeen in 1979, formed his own organization which would be commonly known as Al-Qaeda. The Taliban brought the country into a whole different war throughout the 1990's, that led to their rise to power in 1995, with the help of al-Qaeda, who they've offered legal protection to until they were overthrown in 2001.

The Proxy Armies of Israel

Israel used the Phalangists Ketaeb Party and the SLA (South Lebanon Army) as their proxies to fight the Palestinians in Lebanon. The Phalangists and the SLA supported Israel in their invasion and were involved in several large civilian massacres of Palestinians.The Landau Commission indirectly put blame on these massacres on Ariel Sharon [Benny Morris. "Israel's Secret Wars"] .

The Proxy Armies of Iran

*Hezbollah grew as a resistance to the Israeli invasion but it was the support of Iran financially and militarily that led to the growth of this organization. There have been disputes to whether Hezbollah actually is a proxy army of Iran or whether has its own agenda but shares mutual defense interests with Iran.

*The Mahdi Army was established in 2003 as an organization dedicated to transforming Iraq into a fundamentalist Shi'ite dictatorship, thus garnishing support from both Iran and the Hezbollah. Targets include U.S. and allied military forces, Sunnis, and moderate Shi'ites.


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