Soviet Afghan War Conflict Analysis Thesis

Pages: 18 (5116 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

Soviet-Afgan War Conflict Analysis


The objective of this work is to analyze the Soviet-Afghan War that lasted from 1978 to 1989. At focus in this study is that in this particular conflict the capable Soviet military invaded a powerless Afghanistan in support of the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan in their battle against the Mujahedeen, a grassroots militia resistance force.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
paper NOW!

TOPIC: Thesis on Soviet Afghan War Conflict Analysis Assignment

Despite the well-armed troops and superior technology employed by the Russians, in the form of tanks and helicopters, the Mujahedeen was victorious in a long and bloody war of attrition. This was in no small part to intelligence and arms provided to the Mujahedeen by the U.S. After the defeat of the Russians was achieved, the U.S. turned its back on Afghanistan, focusing its efforts elsewhere. Arms provided by the U.S. were used as fuel by the Taliban and al Qaeda and their efforts to secure the country, and ironically bolster a very Anti-American agenda. This conflict interests me because it seems possible that the U.S. is currently engaged in a war in Afghanistan based on American policies in the region more than 20 years ago. The Soviet-Afghan War provided a place for terrorists like Osama Bin Laden to cut their teeth and sharpen their skills for the upcoming jihad. This war set the stage for the Global War on Terrorism, and unfortunately America adequately prepared some of its enemies for this conflict. Conflict is stated in the World Bank Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Team (CPR) Social Development Department document entitled: "Conflict Analysis Framework (CAF)" published April 11, 2005 to be: "...inherent to all societies. Differences in interests and opinions between groups are natural, but the method by which such differences are expressed and managed determine if conflicts manifest themselves in primarily political (non violent) or violent ways. When significant groups within the society (including the government) pursue their objectives through processes that are in accordance with the specific laws and established norms of the society, conflict is predominantly political in nature Political manifestations of conflict are not a subject of concern in CAF. When a group turns to violence to pursue its goals, and the use of violence outweighs the use of political means, the conflict is predominantly violent. Violent conflict takes on a host of forms."(World Bank, 2005, p.4)

The work of John C. McManus entitled: "U.S. Military History for Dummies" states that American intelligence analysts and policymakers knew that bin Laden's Al Qaeda and its close ally, the Taliban, were responsible for the attacks...within days of 9/11." (0000, p. 317) the Taliban was known to be a "hard-line group of Muslim fundamentalists who had come to power in Afghanistan several years after the Soviet withdrawal from that country in 1989. With Taliban approval, Al Qaeda was using Afghanistan as a base form which to launch terrorist operations." (McManus, 0000, p.317) These two groups are both "dedicated violent Muslim fundamentalists..." And as well they are stated to be "basically ideological bedfellows" with a "common cause." (McManus, 0000, p.317) Afghanistan is described as a "highly factionalized country with myriad warring tribes and interest groups. The country's harsh climate and rugged mountains make a mere existence a struggle for many Afghans." (p.317) Because of Afghanistan's terrain it was known that the U.S. And its partners that infiltration of Afghanistan with "small highly trained Special Forces teams" were the best known method instead of attempting to invade Afghanistan with "large conventional military forces or great numbers of soldiers." (McManus, 0000, p.317) the path taken by the U.S. is after having removed the Taliban from power the United States and NATO partners along with the United Nations "installed a new democratic government in Afghanistan." (McManus, 0000, p.320) the first election took place in Afghanistan in many decades in which Hamid Karzai, "a close U.S. ally" was elected as president. The new government aided extensively by the U.S. "created its own military known as the Afghan National Army. (McManus, 0000, p.320) the ANA, and American and NATO soldiers have work closely together with the ANA learning how to defeat the Taliban through specialized training, arming and equipping by the United States and NATO. Afghanistan is stated to have become "a moderately stable country, but with some serious economic and security problems that required a continued NATO presence." (McManus, 0000, p.320)

The work of Harvey (2003) entitled: "The United States, and the Legacy of Afghanistan's Civil War" states that Afghanistan is "...small, rugged, and landlocked, situated between the present-day countries of Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran. It is approximately 252,000 square miles (652,000 square kilometers) in area, roughly the equivalent to the state of Texas. Because of where Afghanistan is situated "at the crossroads of Asia" Afghanistan is the "...focal point of many imperialist ambitions..." (Harvey, 2003)

According to Harvey the last one hundred years of the history of Afghanistan has been: "...been characterized, and replete with occupation by outside forces, all trying to wield their power within it. The country has become the arena where incessant jockeying for a secure foothold in, and influence over the region has played itself out." Afghanistan has been the "unfortunate victim of the competing imperialist ambitions of Great Britain and Tsarist Russia." (Harvey, 2003) the British invaded Afghanistan and are stated to have occupied it for nearly one hundred years and were "...finally driven out in 1919." (Harvey, 2003)

From 1979 to 1988 the country of Afghanistan was occupied by Soviet forces. Harvey states specifically: "This time, it was the Communist Soviet Union which, in the Cold War climate of the times, sought to wield its influence over the country. During these years, the United States engaged in a proxy war against the Soviet Union, its long-standing Cold War opponent. It was to become one of the bloodiest and most destructive wars ever fought; it would leave Afghanistan completely devastated. It would also leave behind scores of armed, well-trained Islam radicals, an international apparatus for, and network of terrorists, and a burgeoning anti-American sentiment." (2003)

Afghanistan is described as a "...ethnically diverse country. Its inhabitants form a complex mosaic of ethnic and linguistic groups, a reflection of the country's geographic location as well as its history of frequent outside occupation of the 27, 755, 774 million people which were estimated to live in Afghanistan in a poll conducted in 2002, 42% of them belong to the Pushtu-speaking Pathans of the east and the south. The Dari-speaking Tadjiks of the north and the south account for another 23% of Afghanistan's population. The Hazaras, of Mongol descent, live in the central highlands of the country, accounting for another 10% of the Afghani population. Another 8% of the population is comprised of the Turkmen and Uzbecks of the North. The remaining 13% of the Afghani population, are comprised of the Nuristans, an ancient people of Mediterranean descent, the Fariswan, the ethnic Shia Persians, the relatively few in number Balochi of the south, and the scattered members of the Kuchi and Aimaq nomads. Pashto and Dari are considered the official languages of Afghanistan, and are spoken by 85% of the people. The Turkish languages, (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) are spoken, primarily in the North, by another 11% of the population. Thirty other minor languages are also spoken in Afghanistan, representing the last 4% of the population. There is also a large degree of bilingualism amongst the inhabitants of the country." (2003)

The official religion of Afghanistan is Islam and Islam is said to "pervade all aspects of Afghan life." (Harvey, 2003) Specifically the population is "99%...Muslim, and of these Muslims, 84% belong to the Sunnah sect. Most of the Hazaras are Shi'ite Muslims, and, the 1% of the population which are not Muslims, are either Hindus, Sikhs, or Jews." (Harvey, 2003)


According to Harvey (2003) the involvement of the United States in Afghanistan "began in 1934." In 1934 the United States "...officially recognized Afghanistan's independence and set up an embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital." During this time a young progressive was in rule and specifically, King Amanollah Khan, described as opportunistic and ambitious. In 1930 Amanollah made a commitment to "turning Afghanistan, which was one of the most backwards and underdeveloped countries of all the third world countries, around. To accomplish this massive undertaking, Amanollah appealed to the great powers of the world for economic support. Recognizing Afghanistan's strategically significant location at the crossroads of Asia, the United States responded to Amanollah's appeal by providing aid to Afghanistan during this early reconstruction period." (Harvey, 2003)

The United States, while interested in the development of Afghanistan and while providing it with a loan of $20 million for highway construction and another $20 million for construction of irrigation systems, only held a limited interest in Afghanistan. The largest aid provided to Afghanistan was that of the Soviet Union having loaned nearly a billion dollars to Afghanistan by 1973. Harvey (2003) reports that in the 1970s "two factors converged...which would dramatically… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

Two Ordering Options:

Which Option Should I Choose?
1.  Download full paper (18 pages)Download Microsoft Word File

Download the perfectly formatted MS Word file!

- or -

2.  Write a NEW paper for me!✍🏻

We'll follow your exact instructions!
Chat with the writer 24/7.

War in Afghanistan Research Paper

War on Terror the Conflict in Afghanistan Thesis

War in Afghanistan Term Paper

War on Terror - Afghanistan Thesis

Soviet Afghanistan War Term Paper

View 200+ other related papers  >>

How to Cite "Soviet Afghan War Conflict Analysis" Thesis in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Soviet Afghan War Conflict Analysis.  (2009, June 5).  Retrieved October 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Soviet Afghan War Conflict Analysis."  5 June 2009.  Web.  27 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Soviet Afghan War Conflict Analysis."  June 5, 2009.  Accessed October 27, 2021.