The Soviet-Afghan War spanned nine years from late 1979 to early 1989 encompassing the terms of two Soviet premiers and two United States presidents. Known also as the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam War” it too was a war of technology and power against a hardened and adaptive guerilla militia know as the Mujahedeen (people doing jihad) that lead to an undetermined victor and a withdrawal of Soviet forces.
In 1978 the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a poor, agrarian and socialist government. With close ties to the Soviet Union the Afghan government became a concern to the United States by summer 1979 due to issues of instability and the loss of key U.S. allies in the region. Under President Jimmy Carter the United States began to devise a plan (Operation Cyclone) to covertly back anti-government forces in Afghanistan with the goal of pulling the Soviets into a war.
With the covert U.S. backing an Afghanistan civil war ensued and the Russians began to feel as if they were starting to loss control of the Afghan regime. The Red Army invaded in December of 1979 and subsequently killed the Afghan president then emplaced a pro-Soviet government which had requested their military assistance .
The Soviet-Afghan War had begun. For the next decade U.S. backed Mujahedeen would confront the Red Army using tactics, mobility and war fighting skills only those indigenous to Afghanistan could use to such effect as to cause a complete Soviet withdraw by 1989.
Dating back to the 19th century Russia had interests in Afghanistan. This was initially due to the expansion of the empire during the Tsarist time period and continued through the Soviets and the spread of socialism. With billions given in both militar...
... middle of paper ...
...ot in close combat and provide battlefield spacing to return the fighting back to the Mujahedeen’s terms. Having support of the majority of the local population led to the success of the Mujahedeen. This allowed them to have sanctuary in nearly all areas of operation. The Russian army had desertions in the Afghan army ranks and without support or loyalties of local populations were consistently playing into the hand of the Mujahedeen. Although having many victories the Russians found that without constant occupation the area would fall immediately back under Mujahedeen control. This was the stalemate that drew the Soviet Union into a prolonged insurgency and subsequently caused the Soviet withdraw and a no-victor “Vietnam” situation that ultimately ending costing the lives of 25,000 Russians, up to 1,000,000 Mujahedeen and possibly 2,000,000 Afghan civilians.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- America's Involvement in the Soviet Afghan War The worst case scenario for the United States in the late 70s and early 80s was the threat of the Soviet invasion of Iran and subsequent control of the Saudi Oil fields. The best that could be done to counter a possible Soviet invasion would have been the deployment of parts of the 82nd Airborne Division to the Zagros Mountains of Iran, which would take at least a week with reinforcements arriving much later. This was not acceptable to the Carter Administration, which decided on another course of action - to actively support the anti-Soviet Mujahideen “freedom - fighters” in Afghanistan and help protect the Middle Eastern oil fields.... [tags: Iran War American History Soviet Union Essays]
3126 words (8.9 pages)
- When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 1979, the goal was to help Afghan communist forces set up a communist government. The Soviet Union felt Afghanistan had key resources and a foothold in the Middle East to spread communist ideas. The result would be a war that the Soviet Union wishes it never got involved in and likened to their “Vietnam War”, meaning winning a number of battles but not the war like what happened to the U.S. in Vietnam. The background of the war, outcome of the war, and impact on the United States are key to understanding the Soviet-Afghan War.... [tags: World History ]
1090 words (3.1 pages)
- During the course of the Soviet-Afghan war between 1979 and 1989, 1986 was the turning point for the Soviet Union. Soviet Union General Secretary Gorbachev was convinced that the Soviet effort at rebuilding Afghanistan was failing: the Afghanistan government, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA), made little progress in reaching out to the population, economic aid did not reach its destination, and the majority population supported Mujahideen (Matthews 2011). The Soviet Union felt the DRA should take a leading combat role against the Mujahideen (Graw and Jalali 2001).... [tags: Soviet Afghan War, Zhawar]
1537 words (4.4 pages)
- As a result of the US invasion of Afghanistan, the issue of Afghan women’s rights came to the world stage. Through the media, populations of first-world countries saw firsthand the terrible oppression of Afghan women. One such instance was the famous picture of the “Afghan Girl” published in the National Geographic magazine, which became an international symbol for the plight of Afghan women. The United States and Afghan governments have repeatedly obstructed the progression of Afghan women’s rights, causing women’s quality of life to decline, women’s education to suffer, and women’s representation in government to be limited.... [tags: Afghan Women's Rights]
2107 words (6 pages)
- In 1996 the year in which the Taliban took the capital of Kabul, Afghanistan produced roughly 2200 tons of opium. By 1999 the highest year during their rule they were producing roughly 4500 tons of opium a year (Kreutzmann, 2007). The lowest year on record was in 2001 when the Taliban imposed a ban on poppy growth. During 2001 almost no poppy was produced the international demand made prices skyrocket. After taking office as part of the new Islamic Republic, President Karzi declared a ban on all poppy production, harvests since have been higher than ever reaching roughly 6100 tons in 2006 (Kreutzmann, 2007).... [tags: Afghanistan, Taliban, Pakistan, Opium poppy]
1282 words (3.7 pages)
- Mikhail Gorbachev single handedly saved the Russian people by enacting the collapse of the Soviet Union through initiatives such as Perestrokia and Glasnost. Albeit unintentional, Gorbachev 's reforms were the final nail in the Soviet coffin that should have been shut years earlier. After World War Two the world was thrown on a very different course than it had been taking over previous decades. The era of a Euro-centric world was over and the new world was to be marred by a war of ideologies set forth by the principles of communism and capitalism.... [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev]
1534 words (4.4 pages)
- The Cold War became a principal influence on many features of American society for much of the second half of the 20th century. It rose owing to antagonist values amid the United States, demonstrating democracy and capitalism, and the Soviet Union, signifying communism and totalitarianism. Being the two principal world powers after WWII, controversy amid the Americans and Soviets became a worldwide conflict. The Cold War varied from most wars because it was as a great deal of a propaganda war than a war with military involvements.... [tags: Cold War, United States, Soviet Union]
598 words (1.7 pages)
- Why did the Cold War end. In 1946, George Orwell foretold that “the Russian regime will either democratize itself or it will perish”. He was one of the first to predict the fate the Soviet Union, and yet, when it occurred, “the abrupt end of the Cold War … and the sudden disintegration of the Soviet Union astonished almost everyone, whether in government, the academy, the media, or the think tanks” (Gladdis 1992). The Cold War’s sudden end can be attributed to a number of tensions which, occurring simultaneously, diminished the once-extraordinary power of the USSR.... [tags: Cold War, Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev]
1102 words (3.1 pages)
- ... (RAWA) In the documentary “Beneath the Veil” which was shot with hidden cameras, we could see that with the support from RAWA, women had a formed a secret underground society where they taught girls in secret schools and even had a beauty parlour. According to one of the women, it was a form of resistance, defying the Taliban, doing things they liked like studying and working. (Dispatches) This was very risky for them as, if they were caught, they would be beaten or have their fingers cut for painting their nails.... [tags: popular literature and culture of South Asia]
2198 words (6.3 pages)
- Afghanistan has a dark past in relation with foreign countries including the U.S., Pakistan, and Soviet Union. In the past century, the country has been a laboratory for foreign operations (Smith 283). The soviet intelligence agency KGB played a crucial role influencing the future of Afghanistan during the late 1900’s. They led the overthrow of Afghan president Amin by attempting several assassinations then, finally sparking a coup which brought down the president in 1979 (Tomsen 169). This made it easier for the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan and support their military advancement in the middle east.... [tags: Al-Qaeda, Taliban, United States]
915 words (2.6 pages)