November 24, 2014

Afghanistan marks 33rd year of Soviet Union invasion

By Sajad - Wed Dec 26 2012, 12:02 pm

Soviet Union invasion AfghanistanAfghanistan marks the 33rd year of Soviet Union invasion in Afghanistan. The former Soviet Union deployed over 25,000 troops equipped with modern military equipment to Afghanistan on 27 December 1979, which sparked aggressive reactions of the Afghan people.

According to reports over 1 million Afghans were killed while around 3 million others were forced to flee Afghanistan to nighboring Iran and Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s history since 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded to prop up a sympathetic government, has been dark and often violent. The Soviet army’s 1989 withdrawal was followed by a civil war and domination by warlords. That in turn gave rise to the Taliban, which seized power shortly before it was toppled by a U.S. invasion in retaliation for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan was a costly and, ultimately, pointless war. Historical hindsight has made this evident. However, exactly why the Red Army wound up in direct military conflict, embroiled in a bitter and complicated civil war—some 3,000 kilometres away from Moscow—is a point of historiographical uncertainty. The evidence available suggests that geopolitical calculations were at the top of the Kremlin’s goals.

Afghan analysts believe the invasion by former Soviet Union had negative impacts on political, economical and social affairs of Afghanistan which also paved the way for the intervention of the neighboring countries of Afghanistan.

under cover of an ongoing Soviet military buildup, heavily-armed elements of a Soviet airborne brigade were airlifted into Kabul, Afghanistan, to violently overthrow the regime of President Hafizollah Amin.

On December 27th, 1979, Amin was shot by the Russians and he was replaced by Babrak Karmal. His position as head of the Afghan government depended entirely on the fact that he needed Russian military support to keep him in power. Many Afghan soldiers had deserted to the Mujahdeen and the Karmal government needed 85,000 Russian soldiers to keep him in power.

The Mujahdeen proved to be a formidable opponent. They were equipped with old rifles but had a knowledge of the mountains around Kabal and the weather conditions that would be encountered there. The Russians resorted to using napalm, poison gas and helicopter gun ships against the Mujahdeen – but they experienced exactly the same military scenario the Americans had done in Vietnam.

By 1982, the Mujahdeen controlled 75% of Afghanistan despite fighting the might of the world’s second most powerful military power but in the meantime they were at war with itself in Afghanistan with hard line Taliban fighters taking a stronger grip over the whole nation and imposing very strict Muslim law on the Afghanistan population.

Former Afghan Mujahideen leaders also believe that the former Soviet Union invasion which led to communist coup was the starting point of all the tragedies in Afghanistan.

Over 30 years have passed from the Soviet Union invasion however Afghanistan still face major challenges and negative impacts of the incident. There are also concerns that the issues will continue for several years ahead which will create barriers for development in Afghanistan.

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