Essay on THE SOVIET-AFGHAN WAR

1979 Words8 Pages
Introduction The Soviet-Afghan War spanned nine years from late 1979 to early 1989 encompassing the terms of two Soviet premiers and two United States presidents. Known also as the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam War” it too was a war of technology and power against a hardened and adaptive guerilla militia know as the Mujahedeen (people doing jihad) that lead to an undetermined victor and a withdrawal of Soviet forces. In 1978 the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a poor, agrarian and socialist government. With close ties to the Soviet Union the Afghan government became a concern to the United States by summer 1979 due to issues of instability and the loss of key U.S. allies in the region. Under President Jimmy Carter the United States…show more content…
That same year the Saur Revolution ended the rein of the ruling monarchy and transformed Afghanistan into a socialist-based democratic republic and friendship treaties were signed with both the United States and Russia. In early 1979 middle-east unrest reached a culminating point and a key U.S. ally, the Shah of Iran, was ousted by the Islamic Revolution and the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan was kidnapped and subsequently killed in a raid carried out by Afghan police and Soviet advisors, this led to a breakdown in U.S. – Afghan relations. With radical Soviet-influenced changes to the current Islamic culture encompassing land ownership, marital law, education and social rights by the new Afghan regime tens of thousands of people in traditional Islamic society fled Afghanistan or were imprisoned and executed by the government. This began an Afghan civil war and the rise of the Mujahedeen in 1979. The United States took this as an opportunity to coerce the Soviet Union into war by covertly arming the Mujahedeen in order to fight the communist-backed government. With the Afghan government losing credibility with the Afghan people and control of the Afghan military by the desertion of soldiers willing to join the Mujahedeen they called on their Soviet allies to provide military assistance. During the summer of 1979 Moscow responded by sending enough men and equipment to provide security for the government in Kabul, secure two
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