When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 1979, the goal was to help Afghan communist forces set up a communist government. The Soviet Union felt Afghanistan had key resources and a foothold in the Middle East to spread communist ideas. The result would be a war that the Soviet Union wishes it never got involved in and likened to their “Vietnam War”, meaning winning a number of battles but not the war like what happened to the U.S. in Vietnam. The background of the war, outcome of the war, and impact on the United States are key to understanding the Soviet-Afghan War.
For over 2 centuries, Afghanistan has known virtually no time without war. Beginning around 326 B.C. with the conquests of Alexander the Great, to the Persians, British, Russians and most recently, America and our NATO allies, Afghanistan has been cultivated into the country that it is today through a trial by fire. Regardless of this relentless onslaught of foreign military power, the Afghan people have tirelessly defended their homeland with no outside power ever being able to subdue them completely. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1989, the country fell into civil war, torn even further apart by fiercely dedicated tribal warlords. This power vacuum led to the rise of a group called the Taliban. Led by a one eyed man
Afghanistan, a country landlocked in the middle east. A key trade route to and from Asia, It has been fought over since the first traders traveled from their homelands following the Silk Roads. There first were tribes that squabbled over petty territory and game but then they started to learn and grow and become more organized. Soon all of them became united under the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century, but shortly after they became embroiled in war again after the death of the prophet and who should be the next heir of his position. Then the foreigners came, and realising the necessity for cohesion to protect themselves. A new sense of nationalism arose and they finally united under one barrier. But that banner was too good
Afghanistan has been for years a country struggling with authority issues. These struggles date back to the 16th century of the Mughal Empire and continues with the Taliban today. These historic struggles are responsible of the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of our world. There have been many attempts from other groups to try and “conquer” the land but
With the tales of these three individuals told, it is hard not to feel a sense of pity and uncertainty about Afghanistan and especially the United States’ role in Afghanistan. With the consensus of entering Afghanistan originally being to stop terrorism, throughout Gopal’s book it seems that the goal, or better yet, the idea of wiping terrorism away had certainly been lost. No longer does it seem that the United States is helping, rather that the U.S. is one of the main problems in the country. The details and facts listed in the book open a
“We lost the war in southern Afghanistan and it broke my heart.” This statement used by Graeme Smith in the introduction to his book, The Dogs are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, sets the tone for the rest of the book. Although foreign forces had, arguably, the best of intentions going into the war, the Taliban always regrouped and reappeared, often larger and harder to defeat than before, no matter how tremendous their losses were in previous battles. International forces did what they thought was essential for rebuilding of Afghanistan, including the elimination of the Taliban through air strikes and poppy eradication, even though they did not truly understand the needs and priorities of Afghan citizens and were constantly perceived negatively by the Afghan civilians. In an accessible method, Smith provides general knowledge about how the intervention on the behalf of the international community impacted the country and its people. This book also leaves me with reflections on the dynamic between insurgents and villagers and how the international forces could have helped to prevent a power vacuum from occurring during the years where most foreign forces pulled out of Afghanistan.
The war between Afghanistan and the United States has been one that has lasted longer than any war; the civil war combined with both World War I and World War II do not match the duration the United States currently faces with Afghanistan. With both countries engaging little to no military conflict, the U.S. continues to be on Afghanistan’s territory, securing the country from the rise of militias potentially threatening our counterpart’s sovereignty. Many people have been arguing whether the US should withdraw from Afghanistan and when. Currently, as the U.S. plans to withdraw from the Afghan nation, the issue is not one that pertains to the U.S. and Afghanistan, for they are not the only two involved. American forces had planned to leave the opponent’s nation but fear the security along with the sovereignty of Afghanistan continues to be one that is porous. The initiation of the war was the 9/11 attack and has been lasting for 13 years. However, many people complain about the extreme high cost of the war The United States should withdraw completely from Afghanistan because of the high cost of the war, popular opinion’s support, and very few al-Qaeda members are left.
“Afghanistan was a monarchy ruled by King Zahir Shah. On July 17, 1973, when the king was on away on vacation, a man by the name of Mohammad Daoud Khan attained power. The military takeover did not cause any bloodshed, but as we see through Amir's story, it was still a frightening time for the people of Kabul who heard rioting and shooting in the streets. For six years, Mohammad Daoud Khan was President and Prime Minister of Afghanistan. Then, on April 27, 1978, he was violently overthrown by the PDPA, People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Daoud was killed in the coup along with most of his family. Even though Afghanistan had long insisted on maintaining its independence from Russia, the PDPA was a Communist party and therefore held close ties to the Soviet Union. The PDPA instituted many
The modern nation of Afghanistan, as we come to know it today emerged during the eighteenth century. Pashtun tribes in response to the depletion of the Indian and Persian empires within their lands began to band together to form its very own nation, the nation of Afghanistan. “Afghanistan has been a strategic prize for foreign empires for more than two hundred years. The British, Russians the United States have all fought across its inhospitable terrain, in conflicts variously ruthless, misguided, and bloody. This violent history is littered with broken promises and underestimations” (Loyn 1). Many other nations have tried to conquer this rugged region of the world. All of which involved great nations far more superior in weapons and technology than Afghanistan.
Outside influence has always be an issue for Afghanistan as demonstrated by the numerous military campaigns that surround its history most notably by Alexander the Great, British, Soviet Russians, and today by Western powers. During 1880-1901 Abdur Rahman Khan came into power. It was at this time Abdur Rahman expressed that the British were “really anxious to see Afghanistan a strong independent Government-a true ally and barrier, “ whereas the Russians wished “to see Afghanistan divided into pieces and very weak, if not entirely cleared out of the way to India.” (Ewans, pg 99). Although considered a strong ruler who re-established the Afghan Government his power came from the reliability of the British for his protection throughout his reign.
In the history of Afghanistan, a state, in order to be deemed as legitimate, had to satisfy three preconditions. Firstly, it had to be a broker between clans, tribes and ethnic groups. Secondly it had to deliver basic security and ensure secure access to public services and infrastructure. Lastly, it had to embody the concept of Afganistan as an independent Islamic territory .
The applicant requests an upgrade of his under other than honorable conditions discharge to honorable. The applicant seeks, relief contending, in effect, that he was a good Solider prior to his return stateside from his deployment to Afghanistan, he felt as if he does not belong and had no place to turn. The applicant contends that he began drinking heavily and slipping into depression from his experiences in Afghanistan and life in general. The applicant further contends that at this point in time he began to go to behavioral health to seek assistance on how to better himself. After several months, Doctor O. recommended him for a psychiatric separation from the Army, which was denied twice by his commander, CPT. C. The applicant also contends that while he was awaiting for CPT C. decision, he underwent PRK surgery to correct his vision and he was prescribed oxycodone for pain relief. The applicant contends that he began to develop an addiction as the drinking and depression began to take its toll on him, being highly discouraged by his leadership not to return to behavioral health, his appointment became infrequent, and he continued to take oxycodone. The applicant states that he tested positive during a urinalysis and upon knowing that he would test positive, he immediately enrolled into ASAP, only to have one meeting because his command had already “signed off” on his separation packet. The applicant contends that he managed to beat his addiction, only failing one urinalysis test, and answer for his
The current instability and political turmoil in the nation of Afghanistan is a result of an attempted mix between an eclectic group of cultures and traditions and an attempted modern western style government. The collective Afghan people consist of hundreds of ethnicities including Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, and the Balochs, each with a distinctive cultural identity and belief system. Coupling thousands of years of tradition and belief with modernization and imperialist influence has lead to a war torn and politically unstable nation.
Afghanistan’s government is in a state of chaos and it is America’s fault. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, America quickly reacted and fought the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden; taking then out of power. The problem with that, is the Taliban were the ones keeping Afghanistan stable. America has tried to stabilize the Afghan government but has failed due to: the constant violence and acts of terrorism, the many ethnic groups and their conflicts, and the rough, mountainous geography of the country.
When considering nation-building in countries such as Afghanistan, it is imperative that firstly we understand the unique concept that each country attaches to 'nation'. In the case of Afghanistan, we must ask ourselves whether Afghanistan has the fertile roots from which a stable nation of our propensity can sprout. Is Afghanistan fertile for the type of nation-building which we would find favourable in the West? Whilst it may seem altruistic from a Western perspective to invest in a foreign nation struggling to maintain basic levels of order, to export our idea of 'nation' upon a country such as Afghanistan is completely flawed, costly and sometimes, as we will come to see, counter-productive because their history has very little in common with the very rigid view the West has of statehood. Firstly, we must look at whether the history of Afghanistan lends itself to nation-building. The West has often in recent times tried to export to countries like Afghanistan their ideas of state despite the fact their history has nothing in common with Western practice. This is most clearly exhibited by nation-building efforts in countries which have never actually maintained a central government. In nations such as Afghanistan, where warlords rule certain areas and adhere to the needs of their ethnic denomination, central government cannot garner the type of centralised power needed to oversee aid and other forms of nation-building. Secondly, we cannot nation-build in countries such as