USSR Afghan War -the Soviet’s Vietnam- 1978-1992Daniel Hennessey, with help from various historians and TV documentaries
VIPs• Prince Mohammoud Daoud- King Zahir’s cousin; once Priminister (fired); then again Prime Minister and President (killed)• PDPA- People’s Democratic Party of Afganistan• Babrak Karmal- intellectual, co-founder of PDPA• Hafizullah Amin-PDPA member• Nur Mohammad Taraki- PDPA leader
Even though Russia and Afghanistan had a long history, going back to Tsarist expansions,There was no major long term factor(s) that sparked the afghan conflict.Unlike the 1st or 2nd World Wars, the Afghan conflict was a result of short and immediate sparks, not long gradual build up process
• 1964: King Zahir initiated liberal constitution that permitted multi-party elections. PDPA formed in January 1965. Babrak Karmal- elected to parliament Hafizullah Amin- elected to parliament• 1973 July 17: Military coup allowed Daoud to return to power; he dissolved the monarchy, and established a Republic with himself as President and Prime Minister.• 1978 Spring Saur Coup: Daoud, already unpopular with economic and social reforms attempts to rid suspected opponents from his government. He tried to eliminate the PDPA by purging it’s leaders, yet was met by a mob and coup and Daoud was killed. PDPA leader Nur Mohammad Taraki declared the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and announced himself as President, with Babrak Karmal as deputy Prime Minister, and Hafizullah Amin as a leader of high position• THIS NEW GOVERNMENT WAS THAT OF A LEFT-WING SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT
• Taraki promoted the establishment of full womens rights and the implementation of land reform. The great majority of the people were peasants and had no jobs, and thus the socialist leaders (abdul rashid for one) felt it a good idea to give the people their land and let them work it, since Afghanistan was a agricultural land. Women were told to not wear the veil, and they were educated side by side with the men, many felt threatened and widespread resistance to them began in the summer of 1978.• Taraki Hafizullah’s prime minister Amin was the “iron man” of the reforms. He was extremely harsh and executed those to resisted the change. Becoming increasingly unpopular amongst the Soviets, Taraki and the people of Afghanistan, with his terror campaigns, Taraki and the Soviet’s met, and decided to oust him. However the plans were leaked, and Amin had Taraki seized and killed when he returned from his meetings.
• SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SAUR COUP: socialist government formed
• Aware that he was losing favor with the Soviets, Amin began to seek better relationships with the west, and the USSR was increasingly concerned with him “flirting with the Americans”• After NATO had placed hundreds of their missiles near the USSR, the Soviets felt it had little to lose internationally and set their troops in and purged Amin, replacing him with Karmal. THE SOVIETS HAD INTERVEND, AND BECAUSE THE SOVIETS INTERVENED, THE USA ALSO DID
USA doesn’t like USSR• “The purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis will be to make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as possible” – Zbigniew Brzenzinski (Former US National Security Adviser)• "It is entirely true that this was a war fought with our gold and their blood”- Frank Anderson (Former CIA Afghan Taskforce)
Why did USA interveneSignificance of Iran and it’s fall
• Identical in political, economic, social and military nature• Soviets with overwhelming military advantage, “hope to be over in a few weeks” Guerrillas the Mujahidin (“Soldiers of God”) fought against overwhelming odds to hold the Soviets
roughly quoted…“it would be hard to use military force andsucceed in Afghan, one only has to look atit’s history, it’s geography, and the resilientnature of the Afghan people
Attitude of Soviets Direct reflection of nature?• Soviets, much like the USA in Vietnam, had no intention more a long war in Afghan.
Criticism and Internationally Relations• The Soviet Interference was labeled an invasion by Jimmy Carter and heavily condemned by the United Nations• The Afghan War also gave excuses for countries in submission to the USSR to rise out and rebel
Physical Loss• 1 million Afghans died, over 5 million misplaced (moved to neighboring countries, etc)• 15000 Soviets died, 37000 injured
Effect on countries:Soviet Union: Beginning of the EndAfghan: Beginning of no end
Beginning of the End: Soviets The Red Army was not “invincible”! Change of Soviet Thinking- did not have the resources to maintain an empire, and didn’t have the desire to maintain empire any longer
Beginning of No End: Afghan• The weapons and troops trained by the USA, is now at war with the USA.
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