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Democratic Republic of Afghanistan

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Soviet cogitations: 22
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jun 2008, 07:41
Pioneer
Post 29 Jun 2008, 08:37
Tongzhi(comrades) do you remember this? In 1980s soviet union help set up socialist government in afghanistan. Did you know that afghanistan was a a thriving country under socialism. People were educated. Women loved system because they had rights that they never have before under strict religous government. They could vote, speak in public wear normal dress.( i dont think islam is bad religion but im just saying they had more freedom.)But the US
decide this was bad(somehow) and they enlist terrorist group mujahideen to fight soviet union and DRA. But US got what it deserve because the people they help (supposedly
) set up 9/11 attack. What do you think about it?
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Also i think i double post in another forum but this belong in history sorry
科学技术是第一生产力 邓小平
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Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 29 Jun 2008, 12:36
I think the U.S. government had and is having poetic justice served. I feel sorry for all the innocent people who died in 9/11 (e.g. the firemen and passengers on board the planes) but the Wold Trade Centre, Pentagon, and Whitehouse (presumably) were very well chosen targets. If hospitals and the like had been chosen, my opinion would be very different.

As for Afghanistan, I believe that it's brief period of Socialist government was very good on the whole. If the U.S.S.R. has not had Gorbachev gain power and collapsed, the people of Afghanistan would probably be better off today.

Quote:
i dont think islam is bad religion


There are elements of Islam that I do not like, but there are also good ones. Most Moslims are moderates and above all, decent people. The extreme fundamentalists that send children and pregnant women off to blow themselves up are a minority. Westerners only hear about them the most - our media is very good at providing a twisted view of the world.
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 29 Jun 2008, 13:17
Quote:
People were educated. Women loved system because they had rights that they never have before under strict religous government.

I've heard this before, the women benifitted the most. But the men disagreed with the liberation of women. I remember pamphlets with Lenin on them being spat on. If the Soviet Union wasn't able to hold down Afghanistan neither will the U.S.. As soon as the U.S. withdraws its army from Afghanistan there will be another 1992. Afghanistan will always need a bourgeious army to occupy it, or face the same defeat as the Soviets did.
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
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Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 29 Jun 2008, 13:34
Quote:
If the Soviet Union wasn't able to hold down Afghanistan


It's wasn't a matter of "not being able to", it was a matter of not being allowed to. Gorbachev had Soviet forces withdrawn prematurely. If that hadn't occurred and the U.S.S.R. survived to modern times, it's quite possible the Mujahideen would be defeated and that the Afghanis would be capable to defending their own territory. The only real roadblock to this is that it was easy for insurgents to sneak across the border into Pakistan (as the U.S. has found out).
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 29 Jun 2008, 13:42
Quote:
It's wasn't a matter of "not being able to", it was a matter of not being allowed to.

If the Soviet Union was allowed to defeat the Mujajadeen the country would still be unstable as is the occupation of Afghanistan is today. It would take a generation or more to rid the people of the past status of Afghanistan and to come to arms with Socialism. During the time taken to come to arms with Socialism there would be many rebels and acts of 'terrorism' taking place.
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
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Soviet cogitations: 4381
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 29 Jun 2008, 22:16
Afghanistan wasn't exactly thriving during the 1980s Tongzhi. It was a war-torn country, thanks in part to the extremist policies of its own government (pre-Karmal), and of course to the USA, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, some European countries and even the Chinese government, who provided some training and weapons support to the Mujahideen.

Soviet192491 is correct about the difficulties the progressives would have faced in rebuilding and reshaping the country. We have to remember that in some areas of the Southern Soviet Union it took decades to change peoples mentality. However, the fact that the Soviets were successful, and that even today despite all their troubles none of these countries have receded into Muslim fundamentalism shows that it could also have been done in Afghanistan.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 30 Jun 2008, 03:57
Here's an interesting one for you. After the withdrawal of the Soviet Army, the DRA had it's greatest success against the taliban. If Russia after the collapse hadn't instituted an oil blockade against the "communists" the DRA may have won the war.
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 30 Jun 2008, 04:09
I take it that the DRA was winning because Pakistan, U.S, Saudi Arabia, etc. withdrew their aid to the Mujajideen as well...
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 01 Jul 2008, 07:12
Possibly. I believe that the remnants of the DRA formed the basis of the Northern Alliance which later cooperated with the West.
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Soviet cogitations: 63
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Aug 2008, 03:01
Pioneer
Post 01 Sep 2008, 03:25
I did a project on this. I'll add to this post later because I am getting quite tired at the moment, but I can give a very condensed timeline:

Afghanistan was originally a buffer state between the British and Russian Empires.

During WW1, Russia's involvement in the region was naturally minimal if at all existent. By the end of this war, Britain was bloodied, and the USSR had just emerged from the Bolshevik Revolution. Afghans used this chance to repel the British occupiers, and soon after, develop diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union.

Then came years of drastic changes. Afghanistan's first constitution was written, and for the first time in the region, women were allowed to be educated in schools.

Naturally, this ticked off the religious Conservatives (we are talking about the Middle East of the 1920s, after all), and a tribal revolt occurred that ended with King Amanullah and his brother in exile until their deaths.
Meanwhile, Shah Mohammed Zahir ventually ended the power struggle by taking up the mantle of kingship in 1933. He established further connections including trade with the Soviet Union.

In 1953, Zahir's cousin, Muhammed Daoud, became Prime Minister. After a decade of Daoud rapidly modernizing Afghan industry with help from the Soviet Union, King Zahir Shah gave into American pressures and removed Daoud from his position as Prime Minister in 1964 and restores a "constitutional monarchy".

Daoud retaliated with a coup against King Zahir Shah in 1973. During his short-lived leadership, he makes many enemies within both the Socialist and religious Conservative communities through opportunistic attempts to squeeze aid out of both the Soviet Union and the United States.

Soon after, in 1978, Mir Akbar Kaibar, a prominent leader of the Parcham faction of the People's Democratic party of Afghanistan was assassinated, very likely by the government itself. Either way, this sparked mass protests from the PDPA, and when Daoud attempted to arrest political dissidents who were growing suspicious of his government's opportunism and possible role in the assassination, the Party rose up in a coup which ended with the declaration of Afghanistan as a Socialist nation, with Noor Muhammad Taraki as its leader.
Taraki would introduce new land reform and literacy programs.

Officials from the Carter administration (notably Zbigniew Brzezinski, his national security advisor) and former CIA director Robert gates have admitted to covert funding of Mujaheddin six months before Soviet intervention. So, as it turns out, concerns in the Soviet Union about American activities in a bordering nation were completely justified.

As a result, the Soviet Union reluctantly intervened due to requests from the Afghan Socialist government, in accordance with Article 4 of the Soviet-Afghan Friendship treaty of 1978 which stated:

"The High Contracting Parties, acting in the spirit of the traditions
of friendship and good-neighbourliness and in the spirit of the Charter of the United
Nations, shall consult with each other and shall, by agreement, take the necessary
steps to safeguard the security, independence and territorial integrity of the two
countries.
In the interest of strengthening their defensive capacity, the High Contracting
Parties shall continue to develop their co-operation in the military field on the basis
of the relevant agreements concluded between them.".

The rest, as they say, is history. A combination of American backing of the Mujaheddin and crippling bureaucracy back home led to the withdrawal of Soviet troops. The United States essentially picked up and left. Needless to say, with the Soviets gone, America lost interest for a while as anywhere from hundreds to thousands of people perished in massacres, the most infamous of which was the massacre of the predominantly ethnic Hazara neighbourhood of Mazar-I-Sharif.

Eventually, America experienced what the CIA commonly refers to as "blowback" in the form of 9/11. Now that their own misdeeds had come back to haunt them, they figured it was time to intervene and replace their rogue puppets with new Western-friendly ones.
I'll stop here, because I seriously hope that people understand the rest of what's happened since.
"Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will."-Antonio Gramsci
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Soviet cogitations: 4381
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 01 Sep 2008, 10:03
Interesting summary MB.

Quote:
The rest, as they say, is history.


Here's something important: Shortly after the assumption of power of the Afghan communists, Taraki was killed in a power struggle and Hafizullah Amin took over, further radicalizing the Party program and even throwing most members of the less radical Parcham faction in prison. The USSR disapproved of both these actions and believed it would lead to greater disorganization and instability (which was proven to be correct). Subsequently Babrak Karmal, a prominent Parchami, was chosen by the Politburo for his moderate positions to replace Amin and to attempt to stabilize the situation. In December of 1979, in what was officially called by the Soviet government the legal fulfilment of its obligations of the Friendship Treaty, Soviet Spetsnaz forces stormed Amin's Kabul palace and killed him, flying in Karmal after the fact. Regular Soviet combat forces were brought in later still, on the invitation of Karmal.

Quote:
A combination of American backing of the Mujaheddin and crippling bureaucracy back home led to the withdrawal of Soviet troops.


Soviet troops were withdrawn because of a broad general change in Soviet foreign and domestic policy under Gorbachev. Between 1985 and 1986 Soviet forces increased combat operations to the point where some US analysts came to call the Mujahideen the "Mujahasbeens". At the end of 1986 Gorbachev made clear that he had given the Soviet generals the opportunity to finish off the rebels and that he would no longer support the increased tempo of the war effort. From that point on the Soviets would remain to help protect population centres, rarely launching operations, basically waiting for the plan for withdrawal to kick in.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Soviet cogitations: 63
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Aug 2008, 03:01
Pioneer
Post 01 Sep 2008, 17:15
Quote:
Here's something important: Shortly after the assumption of power of the Afghan communists, Taraki was killed in a power struggle and Hafizullah Amin took over, further radicalizing the Party program and even throwing most members of the less radical Parcham faction in prison. The USSR disapproved of both these actions and believed it would lead to greater disorganization and instability (which was proven to be correct). Subsequently Babrak Karmal, a prominent Parchami, was chosen by the Politburo for his moderate positions to replace Amin and to attempt to stabilize the situation. In December of 1979, in what was officially called by the Soviet government the legal fulfilment of its obligations of the Friendship Treaty, Soviet Spetsnaz forces stormed Amin's Kabul palace and killed him, flying in Karmal after the fact. Regular Soviet combat forces were brought in later still, on the invitation of Karmal.


Yeah, sorry, I was a bit rushed last night.
This is true. Hafizullah Amin's policies were out of control.
Although in Article 1 there was mention of "non-intervention in each others internal affairs", when Taraki was killed there was legitimate concern that security was compromised, and the serious concern was no doubt still the America-backed Mujaheddin. Therefore, this was in accordance with Article 4.
Also, insofar as I'm aware, the Soviet-Afghan treaty was made with the Parcham faction when Afghanistan was under its leadership. Naturally, then, when Taraki was killed, opportunism taken by a rival faction would provoke a necessary response.
I'm not sure that the treaty was cited in the removal of Amin, but rather in the entering of Soviet forces in general.
Even if it was, Amin resisted the idea of bilateral efforts to promote peace, and there was concern about American activity on their border.

Quote:
Soviet troops were withdrawn because of a broad general change in Soviet foreign and domestic policy under Gorbachev. Between 1985 and 1986 Soviet forces increased combat operations to the point where some US analysts came to call the Mujahideen the "Mujahasbeens". At the end of 1986 Gorbachev made clear that he had given the Soviet generals the opportunity to finish off the rebels and that he would no longer support the increased tempo of the war effort. From that point on the Soviets would remain to help protect population centres, rarely launching operations, basically waiting for the plan for withdrawal to kick in.


Crippling bureaucracy, the fatal policies of Gorbachev..whatever you want to call it.
Either way, the Afghan government was left to fight Mujaheddin on its own, and soon collapsed.
"Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will."-Antonio Gramsci
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Soviet cogitations: 4381
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 01 Sep 2008, 17:39
I'm not critiquing the Soviet decision in this case -geopolitics is an ugly business generally. Even if it may be considered immoral, and illegal according to the Friendship Treaty, I must say I probably wouldn't have made a decision different to that of the Politburo historically, knowing what they knew and even with the benefit of hindsight.

Quote:
Crippling bureaucracy, the fatal policies of Gorbachev..whatever you want to call it.


Perhaps I've misunderstood you? To me the 'crippling bureaucracy' argument, while certainly valid in the late Soviet period (and perhaps throughout Soviet history generally) is something many bourgeois historians have used to explain the 'terrible and inevitably fatal' situation inside the USSR in its last years.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Soviet cogitations: 63
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Aug 2008, 03:01
Pioneer
Post 01 Sep 2008, 20:29
Fair enough.

True, it has been used that way.

Such a statement about this particular era is correct to the extent that methods such as "wage reforms" and other bureaucratic mismanagement by the Gorbachev régime led to the collapse.
"Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will."-Antonio Gramsci
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 01 Sep 2008, 21:15
You forgot to mention one irony of fate. The peak of the DRA's success against the Mujahadeen came during the 89-92 period, when they successfully pushed them out of several regions of the country, and were set up to win when the "democratic" Russian Federation cut off oil supplies to Afghan.
Soviet cogitations: 2848
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
Party Bureaucrat
Post 02 Sep 2008, 18:16
Quote:
Soviet troops were withdrawn because of a broad general change in Soviet foreign and domestic policy under Gorbachev.


And 15,000 soldiers returning home in bodybags and another over 50,000 as wounded, not increasing the war's popularity among the masses.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 03 Sep 2008, 01:51
I don't remember the casualties off the top of my head but 15 000 seems a little high. I'll check those numbers when I get a chance.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 63
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Aug 2008, 03:01
Pioneer
Post 03 Sep 2008, 03:54
Thanks for that, RussianLord:

Soviet Casualties in Afghanistan

Killed In Action: 9,511
By wounds: 2,386
Disease and Accidents 2,556
Total: 14,453

Source:
Soviet casualties and combat losses, by G.F. Krivosheev.
"Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will."-Antonio Gramsci
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 63
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Aug 2008, 03:01
Pioneer
Post 03 Sep 2008, 04:06
As for injuries.

Quote:
53,753 soldiers were wounded, while of those 10,751 were invalided because of the war. 415,932 were sick at some point in their duty (the most serious ailments being hepatitis (115,308) and typhoid fever (31,080)).
.

Source: Ibid.

So yes, this unfortunate turn of events took it's toll on the Red Army and public opinion.
It became an unpopular war, true. However, I still do believe that Gorbachev's bureaucracy played a part in that blunder.
Doubtless that American intervention in the form of assistance to the Mujaheddin can be held responsible for many of the deaths. It's also tough to keep up a steady military campaign when the economy is collapsing due to reforms.
"Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will."-Antonio Gramsci
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 03 Sep 2008, 04:34
The main problem is that not enough troops were used. They couldn't hold the ground or close the borders.
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