U.S. and Global Media Perspectives on Afghanistan: Evaluating the Roles of the United States and the United Nations in Preserving World Peace

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U.S. and Global Media Perspectives on Afghanistan: Evaluating the Roles of the United States and the United Nations in Preserving World Peace I. Intro Afghanistan was a neutral country in the 20th century, receiving aid from the United States and Soviet Union until the 1970s. In the 1970s, Afganistan’s King Muhammad Zahir Khan was forced to deal with serious economic problems caused in large part by a severe national drought. These economic problems caused a general unrest among the people of Afghanistan, and in July of 1973 a group of young military officers took things into their own hands. King Zahir Khan was unseated, and this group proclaimed Afghanistan to be a republic with Zahir Khan’s cousin, Lt. Gen. Muhammad Daud Khan, becoming president and prime minister. Daud’s reign was short-lived; in Afghanistan’s coup d'état of 1978, Daud was deposed by a group led by Noor Mohammed Taraki, who instituted Marxist reforms and aligned the country more closely with the Soviet Union. These events marked the beginning of what would become known as the Afghanistan War, a devastating conflict between anti-Communist Muslim Afghan guerrillas (mujahadeen) and Soviet forces and Afghan government. Mohammed Taraki was killed in September of 1979 and Hafizullah Amin took power. With Amin taking the throne, the USSR did not hesitate to send troops into Afghanistan and had Amin executed, with the Soviet-supported Babrak Karmal becoming president. The United States, along with China and Saudi Arabia, channeled funds through Pakistan to the mujahadeen. The civil war ensued, and through the course of this war over six million people of the Afghanistan population fled the country, giving it the largest refugee population of any country in the world. By 1991-92, the US finally reached an agreement with the USSR that neither would continue to supply aid to any faction in Afghanistan. Out of these previously US funded factions rose the Taliban, an armed Aghan faction which apparently was an Islamic movement. The Taliban, funded by the CIA during this war, fought with other factions for supremacy following the departure of Soviet troops; as history would show, the Taliban became the dominant force in Afghanistan in the 1990s. The Taliban did not really exist as a coherent politico-military faction or movement before late 1994; prior to this time, they were members of other factions such as Harakat-e Islami and Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi, or operated independently without a centralized command center.

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