Afghanistan's National Army Order of Battle
Program for Culture & Conflict Studies
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The DRA Armed Forces had total personnel strength between 120,000 and 150,000 over time.1 Conscripts constituted 70% of the soldiers in the army, only 30% were volunteers. In 1982, the DRA raised the mandatory service for conscripts from two to three years, and in 1984 from three to four years. By 1984, the DRA suffered 17,000 fatalities and 26,000 desertions, leaving a ground force of 30-40,000 at any given time.2 Every month, an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 men deserted.