Soviet-Afghan War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Survival of the communist state in Afghanistan. Result: Establishment of a Muslim state.
In 1978, Afghanistan leader Mohammed Daoud Khan, who was in his fifth year as president, was killed in a coup. In April, he was replaced by Nur Mohammed Taraki, with Babrak Karmal as deputy prime minister. Tensions continued; the government police conducted mass arrests and were accused of torturing prisoners. The Afghan flag was changed to reflect the new communist rule and President Taraki, leader of the Kalq faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDPA), signed a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union.
In June, 1978, Afghan rebels united and formed the Mujahideen movement, which embarked on a guerrilla war against the state. State violence, both against internal dissidents and guerrilla fighters, continued into early 1979. U.S. ambassador Adolph Dub was abducted in February, 1979, and killed by state police in an attack on the kidnappers. In September, another coup cost the life of President Taraki, and Hafizullah Amin, also of the Kalq faction, assumed the presidency. He was killed three months later, shortly after the invasion of the Soviet forces in December, and replaced by Karmal.
Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev authorized the invasion of Afghanistan on December 24, 1979, because a civil war threatened the local communist...
(The entire section is 961 words.)
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