The Soviet War in Afghanistan

What was it?

Overview

The conflict between Afghanistan and Russian forces began in 1979 when the Soviet Union offered its support for the Communist Afghan government. This was due to the many problems that the government had been facing from anti-communist Afghan groups, which had been causing uprisings and internal fighting against the government. However these uprisings were due to the communist policies put in place by the government policies which included social, land and religious reforms the latter of which was bitterly opposed by the devout Muslim population. In the end the conflict reached a critical point and the Soviet defense minister gave the orders for 30,000 Soviet troops to be send into Afghanistan on December 29th 1979. When the troops arrived in Afghanistan, they dispatched of any opposition and established a new leader; Babrak Karmal, however he was unable to attain any public support. Which resulted in many members of the Muslim population to declare a Jihad against the government, this resulted in Soviet forces attempted to crush any resisitance by bombing and depopulating rural areas, however their tactics were often alluded by the guerrilla tactics of the Muslims who now had the support of the United States. This continued up until February 1989, when the Soviet Forces finally withdrew and Afghanistan was returned to its nonaligned status.

Quick Facts

December 24th 1979, Russian forces enter Afghanistan and fighting begins. At the end of this war around one million Afghans were dead as well as around many thousands of Soviet troops. The Soviet Union didn’t formally withdraw until February 15th 1989. The Afghanistan war was one of the contributing factors for the disinigration of the Soviet Union. It was the first time in 50 years Afghanistan had any foreign military intervene in it.

Resources

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7883532.stm Date accessed 28/2/13 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1499983/Soviet-invasion-of-Afghanistan Date accessed 28/2/13