Ancient history

war in afghanistan

The War in Afghanistan begins in 1979. Initially it was a conflict between the USSR and Afghans, and later, the US gets involved in the feud.

In this war, which continues to this day, the struggle is between the United States and its allies, against the Taliban regime.

Historical Context

The main European countries were practically destroyed during the Second World War (1939-1945). For its part, the US came out of the war with its industrial park unharmed, started supplying the world market and financially helping these countries. In this way, they became the greatest power in the capitalist world.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), however, became the second largest world power and politically and economically helped the countries of Eastern Europe.

It also extended its influence to some Asian countries such as Afghanistan since the proclamation of its republic in 1978.

The US and the USSR were adversaries since the 1950s. This period where both countries fight ideological disputes is known as the Cold War.

The two powers never faced each other on the battlefields directly, but fought each other in various parts of the world. In this context, the First War in Afghanistan begins.

First Afghan War (1979 -1989)

In 1979, a civil war broke out between various Afghan groups. The main ones were those who were allied with Marxism-Leninism and those who were religious, who were against any foreign ideology. The USSR supports the former, as it considered the country within its zone of influence.

Therefore, it maintains and supports Afghan President Babrak Karmal (1929-1996) and, in December 1979, invades Afghanistan, starting the First Afghan War.

The objective was to solidify the Soviet influence that had been deteriorating and intended to pacify Afghanistan because of the rebellion of the guerrilla groups mujahideen , following the uprisings against the communist regime. Thus, the confrontation is also known as the "Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan".

The US, in turn, took sides in the war and began to help the opposition economically. Americans allied with China and Muslim countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The USSR occupied the main cities and military bases in Afghanistan and this action was increasingly revolting the rebels.

It was a bloody ten-year confrontation, in which the US facilitated the military growth of certain Afghan anti-Communist groups. Later, the former allies would turn against the Americans, at a time when Afghanistan came under the rule of the Taliban regime.

US relations with Afghanistan were shaken by the kidnapping and death of the US ambassador to Afghanistan.

The already difficult talks with the Soviet Union were also undermined as the US accused them of being responsible for the event.

Unable to sustain the conflict, in May 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev orders soldiers to start leaving the territory. In the conflict, the USSR lost 15,000 people.

The following decades will be marked by civil wars and international interventions in the region, among which, we highlight:

  • Gulf War (1990-1991)
  • Iraq War (2003-2011)

Second Afghan War (2001 – present)

The September 11, 2001 attacks in the US started the Second Afghan War. They were executed by al-Qaeda at the behest of Osama bin Laden with the support of the Taliban regime.

At that time it was US President George W. Bush. One of the targets of the attack was precisely the symbol of the country's economic power - the World Trade Center building. , known as the twin towers.

The US began its attacks on Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, with the support of NATO, but against the wishes of the United Nations (UN). The objective was to find Osama bin Laden, his supporters and end the terrorist training camp installed in Afghanistan, as well as the Taliban regime.

Only on December 20 of the same year, the UN Security Council unanimously authorized a military mission in Afghanistan. This was supposed to last just six months and protect civilians from Taliban attacks.

The United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia and Germany declared their support for the US.

Battles, bombings, revolt, destruction and thousands of deaths mark this conflict. In May 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed by US soldiers.

See also:Islamic State

In 2012, a strategic agreement was signed between the presidents of the USA and Afghanistan, respectively, Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai.

The agreement deals with a security plan that, among others, aims at the withdrawal of American troops. However, the nations failed to reach consensus on some parts of the agreement, such as granting immunity to US soldiers.

In June 2011, the US began withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, which was expected to end in 2016.

Consequences of War

The War in Afghanistan continues to this day.

Since then, the UN has made great efforts in search of peace. The UN's job is to try to eradicate terrorism and provide humanitarian aid to Afghans.

Currently, a large part of the population dies of hunger or lack of medical care, as the country's infrastructure has not yet been rebuilt.

In addition to the misery of the Afghan people, this war resulted in thousands of deaths, psychological problems for the military and billions spent on weapons.

Read more :

  • Terrorism
  • War in Syria
  • Refugees
  • NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Cold War Conflicts

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