The Northern Alliance should not let up even when the Taliban units have left Kabul. "The real war with the Taliban is still ahead and it may last for years." This opinion was voiced on Tuesday by Colonel-General Sergei Mayev, the Chief of the Main Armour Department of the Russian Armed Forces. "Taliban units are fleeing from the key Afghan towns for the only purpose of preserving personnel and equipment in order to tie up the Northern Alliance and the USA in a guerilla war," believes the commander who fought in Afghanistan as a Deputy Commander of the 40th Army in 1986-1989. Speaking about the Soviet and Russian equipment used by the Northern Alliance, Sergei Mayev stressed that "the majority of this hardware was assigned to the Soviet 40th Army." "The fact that it has been used in difficult Afghan conditions for 20 years is a testimony to its high combat characteristics and reliability," the General said.