The Afghanistan War: Causes, Consequences and Legacy
The Afghanistan war is one of the most important wars of the 20th century. It has been attributed to the Soviet involvement in internal affairs of the republic, conflicts of the superpowers, internal anti-government rebel groups and Pakistan’s intervention in Afghan affairs.
2. Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan:
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 27, 1979. The reason for the invasion was to prop up the newly installed communist government of Hafizullah Amin, who was threatened by various anti-government rebel groups. The Soviet Union supported Amin’s government because they saw Afghanistan as a key strategic partner in Central Asia.
The invasion was opposed by the United States and Pakistan. The US saw it as a violation of the Geneva Accord, which had been signed by the Soviets and Afghans in 1978. Pakistan saw the invasion as a threat to their own security, as they were fearful of a Soviet-backed Afghan government.
3. The Afghanistan War:
The Afghanistan war lasted for ten years, from 1979 to 1989. It was fought between the Soviet-backed Afghan government and the US-backed anti-government rebel groups known as the mujahedeen.
The war was a disaster for the Soviet Union. They lost over 15,000 soldiers and spent billions of dollars on a failed attempt to prop up the Afghan government. The war also led to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as increased regional instability.
4. The End of the Afghanistan War:
The end of the Afghanistan war came about due to a number of factors. Firstly, the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev decided to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1988. This was part of his policy of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), which aimed to end the Cold War and improve relations with the West.
Secondly, US president Ronald Reagan began providing more support to the mujahedeen after 1986. This included supplying them with sophisticated weapons such as Stinger missiles, which proved effective against Soviet helicopters.
Thirdly, Afghan president Najibullah agreed to a peace agreement with Pakistan in 1988, which allowed Pakistani troops to enter Afghanistan and help train and supply the mujahedeen.
Finally, Soviet troops began withdrawing from Afghanistan in 1989, and Najibullah’s government collapsed soon afterwards. The mujahedeen took control of Kabul in 1992 and established an Islamic government under Mullah Omar.
5. Conclusion: In conclusion, the Afghanistan war was a complex conflict that had many causes and consequences. It was a devastating experience for both Afghans and Soviets, and led to increased instability in the region that continues to this day