1973-1978 History of Afghanistan 1992-1996

Afghanistan 1978-1992

Prehistory of the Soviet Invasion . The Khalq faction of the communist PDPA took power in a coup d'etat in April 1978 (labelled Saur Revolution); the country was renamed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Khalq leader Nur Muhammad Taraki assumed the presidency. A purge of Parcham faction members of the PDPA followed.
The Khalq administration was repressive; the bourgeois urban middle class, the mullahs and sheikhs in the countryside, s reactionary elements, were targetted for execution; many went into exile. In March 1979, a mutiny erupted among troops in Herat; President Taraki applied for Soviet assistance. In October 1979 he was executed at the order of Hafizullah Amin, another Khalq leader.

Soviet Invasion and Coup . In December 1979, Soviet forces and the Parcham faction of Afghanistan's communist PDPA toppled the Khalq regime; Parcham leader Babrak Karmal installed as president.

Foreign Policy . The USSR regarded Afghanistan as, since 1973, lying within the Soviet sphere, and the Soviet invasion as much legitimized by the Brezhnev Doctrine as the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Yet the U.S. and many western European nations immediately condemned the Soviet invasion, and went further, boycotting the Olympic Summer Games of Moscow 1980. Afghanistan, from 1978 to 1992, maintained close ties to the USSR and her satellites; diplomatic relations with western countries and the PRC were maintained, but cool.

The Economy . The persecution and attempt to annihilate the middle class and the traditional tribal and religious leaders pursued in the early days of the Democratic Republic under the Taraki regime caused havoc in the Afghan economy.
In the Afghan countryside, poppy was cultivated; the profits of opium export were used to finance the resistance.

Social History . The persecution and attempt to annihilate the middle class and the traditional tribal and religious leaders pursued in the early days of the Democratic Republic under the Taraki regime and the subsequent civil war caused the exodus of millions of refugees, some into Iran, most into Pakistan. Traditional leaders soon restored control of the countryside, but the urban centers remained under government/Soviet control, unable to function.

Resistance and Civil War . The country soon found itself engulfed in a civil war, Soviet and regular Afghan forces controlling cities and major roads, and because of arms superiority (tanks, helicopter gunships), limiting the actions of the resistance. The Panjsheer Valley proved to be a rebel stronghold the Soviet forces were unable to take. The Afghan Mujahedeen were joined by Muslim volunteers from abroad, among them Osama bin Laden. When the Mujahedeen received advanced weapons and training (stinger missiles), now the Soviet and regular forces found themselves under siege in the places they controlled; Afghanistan had turnd into "the Soviet Vietnam".
Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, realizing that the USSR could no longer afford great power policy, showed his willingness to withdraw the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. International negotiations to that effect were held in 1988; the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in 1989.
The Communist Najibullah regime held on to Kabul until 1992.

Timetable History of Afghanistan, from BBC News
Afghanistan Timeline 1976-1980, 1981-1985, 1985-1990, 1990-1995, from Wikipedia
Articles Foreign Relations of Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, PDPA, Saur Revolution, Nur Muhammad Taraki, Babrak Karmal, Muhammad Najibullah, Afghan Muhajideen, from Wikipedia
Opium Timeline, from Opioids
A Global History of Currencies : Afghanistan
CASCON Case AFG : Afghanistan 1979-1988, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
DOCUMENTS Afghan Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Afghanistan, from Population Statistics
Constitution of 1987, from Afghanistan Online
Constitution of 1990, from Afghanistan Online
REFERENCE Article : Afghanistan, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1980 pp.157-158, 1981 pp.155-157, 1982 pp.155-157, 1983 pp.151-152, 1984 pp.151-153, 1985 pp.506-507, 622, 1986 pp.502-503, 618, 1987 pp.471-472, 586, 1988 pp.429-430, 538, 1989 pp.429, 538, 1990 pp.446-447, 554 [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1979-1980 pp.65-70, 1980-1981 pp.65-70, 1981-1982 pp.65-70, 1983-1984 pp.63-67, 1984-1985 pp.63-67, 1985-1986 pp.61-65, 1986-1987 pp.61-65, 1987-1988 pp.61-65, 1988-1989 pp.61-66, 1989-1990 pp.63-67 [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : The World in Figures 4th ed. 1984 pp.160-161 [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : Americana Annual 1989 pp.92-94 [G]
Article : Afghanistan, in : Yearbook on International Communist Affairs 1980 pp.219-222 (Louis D. Hayes) [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 6th 2002, last revised on May 22nd 2007

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