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Why did the Soviet War in Afghanistan happen, Who was all involved, What was the outcome?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"We now have the chance to give to Soviet Government its own Vietnam," argued Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter.  When the Marxist based government of Afghanistan requested support from the Soviet Government, the rebel forces, called the Mujhaideen, sought to dislodge the current Afghani government as well as the Soviet presence.  They waged a guerilla war which was fought in pockets through the mountainous and vast terrains of the region.  Challenging the nature of the Soviet army, not accustomed to fighting in such regions and in such a style of fighting, the rebel forces were actively supported by other Muslim  and Arabic nations as well as the United States. Mujhaideen warlords and their troops fought throughout the nation in dispersed pockets.  One such figure that emerged with United States support was one Osama Bin Laden.   The mujhaideen fought the Soviet forces for about 10 years, until Russian Premier Gorbachev imitated the withdrawal of Soviet forces and transferred the fighting to the Afghanis themselves.  In the end, the parallels between America and Vietnam and Russia and Afghanistan are quite strong.  Little except a vast military loss was accomplished, a period of destabilization in the more prestigious nation ensued, and the country in which the fighting took place was thrown into chaos.  The emergence of the Taliban and the rise of radicalized fundamentalism in Islam ended up being another one of the results of the war in Afghanistan.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In 1979, Afghanistan had a communist government.  But the government was very weak and could not do a very good job of controlling the country.  The Soviet Union wanted to prop them up because they were a communist government.  So they sent their Army to Afghanistan to support the government.

The Soviet Army fought against various rebel forces.  The rebels were eventually supplied largely by the United States, which gave them such things as missiles that could shoot down helicopters.

In the end, the Soviet Union decided that the war was not working out.  They were not able to defeat the rebels and the government continued to be weak.  The Soviet Union withdrew their forces starting in 1988 and ending in 1989.

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lit24 | Student

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was actually an off shoot of the Cold War between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. The first Soviet troops  in Afghanistan were deployed on December 24, 1979 when Brezhnev was the President. The Soviets began to withdraw their troops on May 15, 1988.  The withdrawal of Soviet troops ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Soviet invasion was resisted by the local Afghan rebels known as the mujahideen who were actively aided by the U.S.A. A long and protracted struggle ensued and the situation came to be known as the "Soviets's Vietnam." Finally the Soviets had to accept defeat and withdraw in 1989.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Afghanistan was ruled by king Nadir till 1931 when he adopted a new constitution and began a program of reforms. But he was assassinated in 1933, and his son Muhammad Zahir became king.

In 1953, Muhammad Daoud Khan, became prime minister of Afghanistan.  Under him, Afghanistan remained neutral in the cold war. Due to internal politics he was forced to resign in 1963. in 1964, Afghanistan adopted a constitution with a democratic government.  But King Zahir and the legislature could not agree on a reform programme.  and, a democratic system failed to develop.

In 1973, Daoud led a military revolt overthrowing King Zahir.  and established the Republic of Afghanistan with himself as president and prime minister.  In 1978, rival left-wing military leaders and civilians staged a revolt in which Daoud was killed. This group, aided by the Soviet Union, took control of the government and introduced communistic policies.  Many people of Afghanistan opposed the new government, believing that government policies conflicted with teachings of Islam. Large numbers of people joined in a rebellion against the government and a widespread fighting broke out between the rebels and government forces.

In this internal conflict Soviet Union supported the government with communist leanings and in late 1979 and early 1980, sent thousands of troops.  to Afghanistan to support the government against the fight with rebels.  This  resulted in a lengthy conflict between Soviet troops and Afghan rebels. However, the government failed to achieve a decisive victory  In 1988, the Soviet Union began withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan. completing it in February 1989.

But the fighting between the mujaheddin and the government forces continued until April 1992, when the rebels overthrew the government.  Following the overthrow, several factions of the rebels agreed to set up a transitional government.  However, fighting continued in the country as the different factions competed for power.