war in afghanistan
47 11 mins 3 mths

The war in Afghanistan has been going on for decades now. Suicide bombings in religious sites and crowded places like markets, mass shootings, rocket attacks and other forms of terror have become a part of Afghan people’s everyday lives. Despite all the financial and military aid provided by different countries, the situations don’t seem to get any better. But how did Afghanistan, a rapidly flourishing country from the early 1960s until the late 1970s, end up having such a pathetic fate?

AFGHANISTAN: BRIEF HISTORY

First, we must understand what Afghanistan is and how it is located on the map. It’s a country that sits in a harsh, almost inhospitable area between the traditional crossroads of great powers. Forces from India, the Far East, the Middle East, and the West have all attempted to pass and fallen before Afghanistan. That is why Afghanistan is referred to as “the graveyard of empires.” Initially inhabited by many mixed tribal groups, its people survived in the many valleys of the region completely isolated from the outside world.

In the 19th century, the region was of interest to the large Russian and larger British empires who had swooped across Asia, taking as much land as they could. Afghanistan’s borders were rather incidentally carved as a buffer between the two empires, leading to many arbitrary mixings and splitting of ethnic groups. The British would take many tours into Afghanistan to seize its pivotal central position on the map. However, by 1919, after only managing to slowly chip away at its frontier, Afghanistan would be affirmed as an independent emirate, and slightly later, kingdom.

THE SOVIET-AFGHAN WAR:

Shortly after being declared as a Kingdom, Afghanistan started to see a lot of development under their king, Mohammad Zahir Shah. The country started having metaled roads, large buildings and slowly pushed towards modernizing in the early 1960s. He introduced an election system and granted certain basic rights to the people like the right to vote, right to education. He also emphasized women’s education. This was possible due to the financial aid provided by both the USA and mostly USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The USSR saw a huge business potential in the oil refineries and its abundance in Afghanistan and started to give more and more money to the Afghan government for its development. During this time period, the cold war was in a full-swing and this humongous funding was seen by the US as an attempt to spread communism by the USSR.

Afghanistan’s good days were short-lived. The king’s cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan, feeling the pleas of the Pashtun people, long ago split by the Pakistani border, had gone ignored far too long, staged a bloodless coup against his cousin. Soon declaring himself both president and prime minister of the new Afghan Republic in 1973. Daoud Khan continued to push for progressive policies, which the other ethnic groups were not in favour of. Not liking the strong criticism, he began cracking down and shutting civil liberties. Both the left-wing and traditionalist groups despised him. And this would culminate in a revolution in the April of 1978, ousting Daoud Khan for the Communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, backed by the Soviets, of course.

The PDPA’s prime minister, Hafizullah Amin, radically pushed the envelope of progress. More women’s rights, more equality, more socialism. These top-down changes were very invasive on the self-sufficient rural people, who, now being bombarded with tax and land reform and threats to their traditional power structures, were very displeased. Amin, even worse than his predecessor, responded to dissent with imprisonment and execution. This resulted in big riots back in 1979. To prevent the riots and have the upper hand, Amin’s predecessor turned to the Soviets for support. When Amin caught wind that Taraki sought to disempower him, he had Taraki killed and took on the vacant presidency for himself. Further weakening the government stability, and resolve against the rebels. General secretary of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, decided the U.S.S.R must take control of the situation themselves. Remove the uncontrollable Amin and pacify the anarchy.

On 24th December 1979, a combined air and land invasion of Afghanistan commenced. The Red Army quickly seized many urban areas, roads, and communication lines. Amin himself was captured and executed to be replaced by the more moderate Babrak Karmal. Disputes swiftly erupted internationally on whether this was an intervention or an invasion. The West and many Muslim countries decided on the latter. The tribal warlords had been repulsed to the mountains by the invasion. But this would only spell a new stage in the war in Afghanistan. The foreign atheist/orthodox invader gave credence to this being a Jihad, or Holy War. And the warlords were soon united as the Mujahideen. The U.S. saw this as an opportunity to fight the spread of communism in Afghanistan and thus, started fueling the Mujahideen with weapons through Pakistan, as Pakistan wouldn’t mind Pan-Islamic cooperation.

Despite all the support from the west, the Soviets clearly had the upper hand in the war. However, the arrival of Ahmed Shah Masood to Mujahideen’s power started changing things. The Mujahideen indulged in guerilla warfare. Initiating a repeated and gruelling effort for the Soviets to drive away from the fighters, and then for them to boomerang right back. It seemed as if for every fighter they’d killed, his death aided in the recruitment of five more, eager to become a martyr. The soviets’ constant search and destroy missions were also in vain as no matter how many battles they had won, they continued to lose the war in Afghanistan.

In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev took over as the general secretary of the USSR. His unique foreign policies and anti-war sentiments started shifting dynamics in the union. The Mujahideen kept getting stronger as the US kept supplying next-gen artillery to them. In 89’, the USSR would cease to exist as Gorbachev had signed off the Geneva accords and withdrawn its power from all the occupied regions. This was the end of the Soviet-Afghan war.

RISE OF MILITANTS DURING THE AFGHANISTAN WAR:

The end of this war didn’t mean that the situations in Afghanistan would improve. It kept getting worse. The Mujahideen continued to resist Mohammed Najibullah’s government, formed in 1986, well past withdrawal. As a result, Najibullah disbanded the government, when in 1992 the warlords of the Mujahideen had finally surrendered the capital, Kabul. They sought to reach an agreement on how things would move forward. All agreed at Massoud’s proposal that they rule in an Islamic coalition government. Except for one, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who sought sole rule. And so, the war continued for several years between Massoud’s alliance and Hekmatyar’s Pakistani-backed army.

In 1994, Massoud had bested Hekmatyar, until a man by the name of Mohammed Mullah Omar rallied his followers to further the fight against Massoud. They called themselves the Taliban. Pakistan’s favour transferred to this new group and in 1996, the Taliban had seized control of much of the country and took Kabul. Brutally executing the former president Najibullah and declaring themselves as an Islamic emirate. Massoud, however, ignored their taunts and was unwavering in his resistance, continuing to fight from the north of the country with what few of his allies remained. It, unfortunately, ended when on September 9th 2001, Massoud was assassinated by Taliban members who had claimed themselves to be reporters. The alliance without the leadership of their national hero was surely doomed.

the 9/11 attacks
Attack on the World Trade Centre, 11th September, 2001 (9/11). Source: ABC

Merely two days later, the terrorist group Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center in New York. Their leader, Osama Bin Laden, was offered shelter in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The attacks provoked U.S. president George W. Bush to declare a war on terror and demanded the Taliban surrender, Bin Laden. They refused. The U.S. had covertly aided the Mujahideen against the Soviets, and with the Soviets gone, the Mujahideen had splintered into many spiritual successors, such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The irony of this was not lost on many. That, however, did not change the fact that in 2001, the U.S. declared war on the Taliban. Decades of war, political instability, and virtual anarchy are not going to be ignorable for any country.

Recently, former U.S. President Donald Trump declared that he will withdraw almost 50% of the troops from Afghanistan. After decades of war, Trump felt that he’s been spending a lot on some war that only got worse due to foreign intervention. But Joe Biden, the current President of the United States, may reverse this decision because of his approach to this war.

CONCLUSION

Suicide bombings in Afghanistan
Suicide Bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan. Source: ABC

Millions of Afghans died, and even more, millions to live as refugees, an unfortunate burden on the countries that have held them for so long. The routes and motives for many Islamic terrorist groups can be traced back to the Soviet-Afghan war. It was where their leaders met, their men were armed, and their resolve hardened. The fact that most people have forgotten or neglect this war but still live so heavily under its effects, is rather disappointing. Even now, thousands of people die daily in Afghanistan. Women are oppressed, with almost no rights. Children starve and go through a childhood full of terror and violence. A lot of countries, including the UN, are striving towards making things better in Afghanistan. We hope we get some positive outcome.

47 thoughts on “WAR IN AFGHANISTAN: EXPLAINED

  1. I don’t even know how I stopped up here, however I assumed this post
    used to be good. I don’t recognise who you might be but definitely you are going to a well-known blogger
    if you are not already. Cheers! 0mniartist asmr

  2. wonderful publish, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  3. The next time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my option to learn, however I actually thought youd have one thing fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you may repair if you werent too busy searching for attention.

  4. We stumbled over here by a different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking at your web page again.

  5. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I to find this topic to be actually something that I feel I
    might never understand. It kind of feels too complex and
    very huge for me. I am looking ahead for your subsequent post, I will try to get the hold of it!

  6. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  7. Many thanks for this article. I might also like to mention that it can be hard when you find yourself in school and simply starting out to create a long credit standing. There are many scholars who are just simply trying to live and have a long or good credit history can sometimes be a difficult element to have.

  8. I really like your blog.. very nice colors &
    theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone
    to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my
    own blog and would like to find out where u got this
    from. thank you

  9. I do trust all the concepts you have introduced to your post.
    They’re really convincing and can definitely work.
    Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a bit from next
    time? Thanks for the post.

  10. Hi there, just turned into aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I抦 gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate should you continue this in future. Lots of people might be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  11. Hey there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  12. Thanks , I have recently been searching for information approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the source?

  13. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  14. Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity on your submit is simply nice and
    that i can assume you are an expert in this subject.

    Fine together with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to
    date with forthcoming post. Thank you 1,000,000 and
    please continue the enjoyable work.

  15. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?

    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem
    still exists.

  16. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal. I must say you have done a amazing job with this. Also, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Safari. Superb Blog!

  17. Hi exceptional blog! Does running a blog
    such as this require a great deal of work? I’ve no knowledge of computer programming however I was hoping
    to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.

    I know this is off subject but I just had to ask.
    Cheers!

  18. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to
    say that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!

  19. Fantastic site. Lots of helpful information here.
    I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thanks in your effort!

  20. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!

  21. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly loved browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

  22. scoliosis
    What i do not realize is in fact how you’re no longer actually a lot more smartly-liked than you may be right now.
    You are very intelligent. You recognize thus significantly in terms of this matter,
    made me in my view consider it from a lot of varied angles.

    Its like men and women aren’t involved except it’s
    one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs
    outstanding. Always take care of it up! scoliosis

  23. scoliosis
    Hello! I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you have right here
    on this post. I’ll be coming back to your web site
    for more soon. scoliosis

  24. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back in the future. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!

  25. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  26. scoliosis
    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. That is a really neatly written article.

    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback. scoliosis

  27. dating sites
    What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this
    I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me
    out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & assist other users
    like its helped me. Good job. dating sites

  28. Fantastic website you have here but I was wanting
    to know if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article?

    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get comments from other knowledgeable people that share the
    same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let
    me know. Bless you!

  29. Thanks for your article. I also believe that laptop computers have grown to be more and more popular nowadays, and now are often the only kind of computer used in a household. It is because at the same time actually becoming more and more economical, their working power keeps growing to the point where they may be as strong as pc’s through just a few in years past.

  30. Interesting article. It is quite unfortunate that over the last one decade, the travel industry has had to take on terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, influenza, swine flu, as well as first ever real global tough economy. Through everything the industry has really proven to be sturdy, resilient and also dynamic, finding new strategies to deal with misfortune. There are continually fresh challenges and opportunities to which the market must just as before adapt and react.

  31. Hi there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew where I could find a captcha plugin for
    my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m
    having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  32. I don’t even know how I stopped up here, however I assumed this post used to be
    great. I do not recognize who you’re but certainly you are going
    to a famous blogger when you aren’t already. Cheers!

  33. My brother recommended I might like this web site.

    He was entirely right. This post actually made my
    day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for
    this information! Thanks!

  34. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am impressed! Very helpful info particularly the remaining section 🙂 I handle such info much. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *