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  • Created on: 23-04-13 16:12

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan 1979

April 78- a coup led to overthrow of Muhammed Daoud, who had been in power since 73 with the support of the leftist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).

This was the same group that had overthrown Daoud primarily bc of his failure to implement socialist principles to which he said he was committed.

Was this '78 coup that led to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

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Soviet Invasion

Christmas 1979- Russian paratroopers landed in Kabul.

Country already in grip of civil war: PM Amin tired to sweep aside muslim tradition and wanted more western slant to Afghanistan. This outraged majority of those in Afghanistan as muslim tradition strongly belived in. 1000s had been arrested an had fled to mountains to escape.

Amin also led communist govt.

1000s joined Muhajadeen, who declared jihad against Amin. Was also extended to Russians who were now in Afghanistan trying to maintain communist govt. Claimed that Muhajadeen no more than terrorists.  

Dec 27th 79- Amin shot by Russians and replaced by Kamal, whose position relied entirely on fact he needed Russian military support to keep him in power.

Muhadjadeen proved to be formidable opponent- although had old rifles, knew mountains well and Russia resorted to napalm and helicopter gunships.

Russia experienced same conditions as US had done in Vietnam.  

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Soviet Reasons for Intervention

  • Shared border for 2,500 km joining Muslim and central Asian Republics of the USSR.
  • Afghanistan socialist state and regional ally of USSR. If aligned w/ USA would strengthen USA's geo-strategic power in region at expense of USSR.
  • Natural gas- economic reasons ;)
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US Reaction to USSR Intervention

Events in Afghanistan assumed great sig. for USA when Shah's pro-USA regime overthrown in Iran by Islamic fundamentalists.

USA feared Khomeini's regime woud collapse and leave Iran vulnerable to leftist and even communists influences, which could further reinforce USSR's regional influence.

President Carter highlighted USA's growing concerns: "the USA has not interfered in the international affairs of Afghanistan and that we expect the USSR to do the same."

 

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Carter Doctrine 1980

27th Oct 1979- critical point between US and USSR relations had been reached. Increase of USSR troops in Afghanistan violated accepted international rules of behaviour, a grave threat to peace and therefore contributed to the collapse of detente.

Carter set out series of measures aimed at USSR. Seen by many as last chance:

  • ban on sale of high technology and strategic items to USSR
  • embargo on sales of grain to USSR
  • US military and economic assistance to Pakistan the enhance their security (preserve USA influence)
  • boycotted 1980 Moscow olympic games.
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Conclusion

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was final blow in detente's existence.

USA's relationship w/ USSR depended on USSR withdrawal from Afghanistan. As it failed, US-USSR relations deteriorated.

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