Afghanistan War

Afghanistan War,

1978–92, conflict between anti-Communist Muslim Afghan guerrillas (mujahidin) and Afghan government and Soviet forces. The conflict had its origins in the 1978 coup that overthrew Afghan president Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan, who had come to power by ousting the king in 1973. The president was assassinated and a pro-Soviet Communist government under Noor Mohammed Taraki was established. In 1979 another coup, which brought Hafizullah Amin to power, provoked an invasion (Dec., 1979) by Soviet forces and the installation of Babrak Karmal as president.

The Soviet invasion, which sparked Afghan resistance, intially involved an estimated 30,000 troops, a force that ultimately grew to 100,000. The mujahidin were supported by aid from the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia, channeled through Pakistan, and from Iran. Although the USSR had superior weapons and complete air control, the rebels successfully eluded them. The conflict largely settled into a stalemate, with Soviet and government forces controlling the urban areas, and the Afghan guerrillas operating fairly freely in mountainous rural regions. As the war progressed, the rebels improved their organization and tactics and began using imported and captured weapons, including U.S. antiaircraft missiles, to neutralize the technological advantages of the USSR.

In 1986, Karmal resigned and Mohammad Najibullah became head of a collective leadership. In Feb., 1988, President Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich
, 1931–, Soviet political leader. Born in the agricultural region of Stavropol, Gorbachev studied law at Moscow State Univ., where in 1953 he married a philosophy student, Raisa Maksimovna Titorenko (1932?–99).
..... Click the link for more information.
 announced the withdrawal of USSR troops, which was completed one year later. Soviet citizens had become increasingly discontented with the war, which dragged on without success but with continuing casualties. In the spring of 1992, Najibullah's government collapsed and, after 14 years of rule by the People's Democratic party, Kabul fell to a coalition of mujahidin under the military leadership of Ahmed Shah Massoud.

The war left Afghanistan with severe political, economic, and ecological problems. More than 1 million Afghans died in the war and 5 million became refugees in neighboring countries. In addition, 15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed and 37,000 wounded. Economic production was drastically curtailed, and much of the land laid waste. At the end of the war more than 5 million mines saturated approximately 2% of the country, where they will pose a threat to human and animal life well into the 21st cent. The disparate guerrilla forces that had triumphed proved unable to unite, and Afghanistan became divided into spheres of control. These political divisions set the stage for the rise of the Taliban later in the decade.

See AfghanistanAfghanistan
, officially Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, republic (2005 est. pop. 29,929,000), 249,999 sq mi (647,497 sq km), S central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Iran on the west, by Pakistan on the east and south, and by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan on the
..... Click the link for more information.


See E. Girardet, Afghanistan (1986); A. H. Cordesman and A. R. Wagner, Lessons of Modern War, Vol. III (1989); A. Saikal and W. Maley, ed., The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (1989); A. Hyman, Afghanistan under Soviet Domination, 1964–1991 (3d ed. 1992).

References in periodicals archive ?
For Americans, the Afghanistan war is entering its final phase.
Tim's Afghanistan war film Restrepo was nominated for best documentary at the Oscars earlier this year.
the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan war, the organisers said.
5 billion aid over a 5 year period, which came to the same amount of money that the US was spending in just 5 weeks of the Afghanistan War.
A HERO Para has had his identity cloned and used in a shoot-em-up computer game based on the Afghanistan war.
Washington, Apr 26 (ANI): Majority of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama's management of the Afghanistan war, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
A White House review of President Barack Obama s Afghanistan war strategy reported last month that U.
Gates, briefing reporters at the White House on the Obama administration's annual review of the Afghanistan war, said such a transition is the only way for U.
THE US government last night pleaded with website Wikileaks not to post any more classified documents about the Afghanistan war, saying national security was at risk.
The online whistle-blower Wiki Leaks on Sunday published a record of 92,000 secret documents on the Afghanistan war dating from 2004 to 2009, providing details, among other things, of Pakistans support for the Taliban.
As an Independent deacon, Sir Eric should have known they were being held and that a previously-circulated motion of the Afghanistan war would be discussed.
The meeting of experts on "Russia-Kyrgyzstan: Dialogue in the context of new time" was held in Moscow on Wednesday, Chair of Congress of Afghanistan War Veterans Abdygul Chotbaev said.

Full browser ?