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).
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 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
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.

Bibliography

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 ?
KABUL: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzaihas accused Pakistan andthe United States of using the Afghanistan war to further their own national interests, adding thatAfghanistanis in "terrible shape" 16 years after the collapse of the Taliban.
Turkey must keep the case of Pakistan in mind when the latter entered the Afghanistan war in the eighties.
Spiller, a retired professor of criminal justice and former marine and sheriff, details the mission of the Black Hawk Counter Narcotics Infantry Team as an advisory and training unit for the Afghanistan National Army during a poppy eradication operation in Helmand Province during the Afghanistan war.
Summary: Islamabad [Pakistan], October 10 (ANI): Pakistan wants to restart the quadrilateral peace process for ending the Afghanistan war and has asked the group members to meet in Muscat, Oman, on October 16.
In recent months they were supposed to pay 300 million dollars to Pakistan as part of their financial help to Pakistan for supporting Afghanistan war coalition, but they refused to pay and still we are surviving.
An earlier version of the question showed the largest share of Americans naming the Air Force as most important in May 2001, four months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and in April 2002, after the onset of the Afghanistan War.
A WANNABE MP and Afghanistan war veteran yesterday defected from UKIP to Labour.
CHANGED: Tomkinson AN Afghanistan war veteran who stood for Ukip at the General Election has defected to Labour.
He quoted the book "The Wrong Enemy" written by an American Commander that Pakistan and not Afghanistan had defeated the allied forces and Pakistan had hoodwinked US in the Afghanistan war.
Pitts is a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war, despite his own critical injuries.
THE moving service at St Paul's Cathedral to commemorate the end of Britain's Afghanistan war leaves mixed emotions.
The debut novel Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Elliot Ackerman, Green on Blue is a profound and fearsome look at the savage toll war takes upon all aspects of day-to-day life.

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