- Civil war in Afghanistan
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Civil war in Afghanistan
Sharbat Gula, photographed by Steve McCurry, on the famous cover of the June 1985 Edition of National Geographic Magazine. As her fate was unknown, her picture symbolised the plight of the Afghan people and became iconic for the Afghan Civil War.
date=1978–(conflict still ongoing)
casualties3=1,500,000–2,000,000 civilians dead
Civil warin Afghanistan, also known as Afghan Civil War, began in 1978 and has continued since, though it has included several distinct phases.
The Saur Revolution
April 27, 1978A military coup d'étatwas led by the unified communistparties of Khalqand Parcham, after the death of one of Parcham's prominent members. President Mohammed Daoud Khanwas killed along with members of his family as coup forces took the presidential palace. [p. 88 of Ewans, Martin (2002) "Afghanistan: A Short History of Its People and Politics" HarperCollins, New York, [http://books.google.com/books?id=rpS-j5uSetAC&pg=RA1-PA88&sig=QtdTpTnFrys0BuZxn37-RdB8QEU Page 88] ISBN 0-06-050507-9 ]
The newly installed communist government encountered resistance to its programs. At its request, the
Soviet Unionintervened with its armed forces. Even with Soviet support the government failed to effectively control the country and stop the rebellion, which had support from Pakistan, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. The Soviet Union withdrew its forces in 1989.
After the Soviet withdrawal, the Republic of Afghanistan continued to deal with attacks from the
Mujahideen. They received funding and arms from the Soviet Union for several years and actually increased their effectiveness past levels ever achieved during the Soviet military presence. But the government was dealt a major blow when Abdul Rashid Dostum, a leading general, defected to the Mujahideen.
After taking power, the unity of the Mujahideen evaporated and fighting began between them.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyarwas blamed for a devastating rocket attack on Kabul, prompting Dostum to launch a campaign against him. Dostum later joined forces with Hekmatyar and fighting destroyed much of Kabul as the nation was split along ethnic lines. In 1994, the Taliban Movement was formed in southern Afghanistan with Pakistani support. It made rapid gains for the next two years against both Dostum and Tajikcommander Ahmad Shah Massoud; in 1996 the Taliban took the capital.
After the fall of Kabul, Dostum and Massoud joined forces to form the
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan(Northern Alliance). During this time the Talibancontinued to make gains against the Alliance, eventually taking up to 95% of Afghanistan. Dostum was forced out of Afghanistan, and Massoud was assassinated on September 9, 2001.
United States involvement
September 11, 2001 attacks, the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, (known popularly in English speaking countries as the "Northern Alliance",) with the help of United States and allies overthrew the Taliban and established a new republic under president Hamid Karzai. The Taliban continues a resistance movement in the lawless and tribal southern part of the country, often using Pakistan as a safe haven to plan and reorganize for later operations.
* [http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/afghan-bck1023.htm Backgrounder on Afghanistan: History of the War October 2001]
* [http://members.aol.com/bblum6/afghan.htm America's Jihad] by William Blum
* [http://www.rand.org/pubs/testimonies/2007/RAND_CT271.pdf Ending Afghanistan’s Civil by James Dobbins, The RAND Corporation, Testimony presented before the House Armed Services Committee on January 30, 2007]
* [http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/afghanistan/afghbk.htm Fueling Aghanistan's War-Press Backgrounder]
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