The Russo-Afghanistan War, 1978 ? 1989 I) Afghanistan A) An unlikely place of importance in world affairs 1) Landlocked 2) Very few resources 3) Not populous (though the official numbers are not known because there has never been a census) 4) One of the poorest countries in the world 5) Only 10% urban 6) Very arid; pastoral nomadism still a way of life for few, but dominated by peasants B) In 1978, was directly bordering the Soviet Union C) Allies demanded that the Afghans expel German diplomats during WWII ? they responded by expelling all foreigners to remain neutral D) A little industry in the north E) Ethnically mixed country 1) Southern/eastern parts are dominated by Pashtuns 2) North of Kabul is very lush for agriculture and populated by Tajiks 3) Shiites make up about 14% of the population (largely Hazaras) 4) Some speak Turkish 5) Most speak Persian or a dialect of it II) Communist Coup A) Marxists looked for a way to appeal to a vast majority of the people, regardless of ethnicity or language B) Fundamentalism (holding tightly to the scripture and scriptural principles) is a largely urban phenomenon because understanding requires literacy C) In the early 1970s, PM Daud staged a coup in the palace D) Universities became fertile ground for movements and a group of young officers staged a coup E) April 27, 1978: communists made a coup F) Nur Muhammad Taraki became the president (a Pashtun) but he was later assassinated in 1979 G) U.S. feared that Afghanistan going communist could have grave consequences, giving Russia an opening to Pakistan, India, the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, and thus all of Asia; Soviets feared that there could be a countercoup and if one country returned to capitalism, more could follow H) Afghan communist party was unstable and there was a lot of infighting I) In theory, communists ?shed? their ethnicities, but most actually used their authority to further ethnic agendas III) Babrak Karmal A) Soviets increased aid to Afghanistan and installed Babrak Karmal in 1980 1) Old time leader of the Afghan communist party 2) Very Moscow-oriented B) In charge of the 150,000 Red Army troops that came to occupy the cities C) Persian-speaking Tajik ? Pashtuns had been in charge beforehand and were unhappy with this as they were the largest ethnic group D) Lacked legitimacy in the greater Afghan community E) Intervention cost the Soviets $5 billion per year IV) Soviet Tactics A) Initially, Soviets committed tanks but the terrain wasn?t good for it B) Began to use light, mobile forces such as helicopter gunships C) Protected landings or light infantry D) Used surprise attacks to depopulate certain areas and remove guerrillas V) Ethnic Cleansing A) Soviet attacks on villagers caused: 1) 2 million to fled to Iran (are of a lower class, often servants) 2) 3 million fled to Pakistan (live in refugee camps) 3) 2 million were displaced internally B) Population as low as 17 million VI) Mujahidin A) Islamists exiles formed guerrilla groups B) ?Mujahidin? means ?holy warriors? C) Supported by the Reagan administration and called ?freedom fighters? 1) Built on a small Carter initiative 2) Increased Afghanistan effort to $120 million 3) By 1984, aid included purchase of Swiss Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannon (which, however, proved useless in Afghanistan) 4) CIA set up training camps in Pakistan for the mujahidin (not only militarily but organizational) D) Mujahidin lay 200,000 mines in 5 years; soviets laid 1.7 million mines in 1983 ? 1984 VII) Seven Major Guerrilla Groups A) Mujahidin included some tribal leaders B) Seven major groups based in Pakistan C) Favorite of Inter-Services Intelligence was Gulbadin Hikmatyar and his ?Islamic Party? 1) Known for killing as many Afghans as they did Soviets D) By 1987 ? 1988, combined U.S./Saudi aid reached $5 billion ? Saudis were initially reluctant VIII) War Unpopular in Russia A) Mothers of dead soldiers organized demonstrations in Moscow B) Afghanistan War became increasingly unpopular IX) Pakistan Pressured A) Reagan administration wanted to give Mujahidin sophisticated weapons B) Pakistan?s military director, Zia un-Haq, objected C) Reagan sent Senator Orrin Hatch, and others to Beijing to pressure Pakistan to allow better weapons X) Gorbachev A) Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev prepared to withdraw Soviet troops B) Unwilling to pay the price of winning in Afghanistan C) Had already decided to withdraw before mujahidin began using U.S. Stingers XI) Najeeb A) Moscow replaced Karmal with Najeeb B) In 1987, a new constitution was adopted and elections to parliament were held C) February 15, 1989 ? the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan Kyle Microsoft Word - The Russo-Afghanistan War
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