In 1978 the communistic party seized power in 1978 through a coup d’état, this change of government met with strong resistance within the population as the communistic ideas were not accepted by the Islamic citizens. After TarakiNur Muhammad Taraki was an Afghan politician and statesman during the Cold War until 1979, the party leader had been assassinated by rebels the communistic party was supported by the Soviet Union, as they hoped to found another satellite stateA satellite state is a state that is under heavy political, economic and military influence or control of another country and to thus extend their power to the Middle East. The official rationale however was the aim to ensure peace for the Afghan population.
Course of the war
In order to react to the Soviet invasion in 1979 Islamic Guerilla fighters called for jihad to expel the Soviet troops from their country.
Between 1979 and 1989 the mujahedeen fought back successfully. The Soviet Union could not assert itself, similar to the USA in Vietnam. The successful resistance of the freedom fighters gives rise to the suspicion that the CIA supported the resistance with financial means and weapons.
1968 marked a turning point of the war: Mikhail Gorbachev, the new general secretary of the Soviet Union explained his will to terminate the war as a part of the change in his political strategy (Perestroika and Glasnost). Apart from the reformation of the Soviet Union Gorbachev aimed to compensate the fiscal deficit by financial economisation. This included the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, eventually leading to the Geneva Convention in 1988 in which the Soviet Union as well as the USA determined the disarmament of nuclear weapons and the non-interference concerning Afghanistan’s domestic affairs1.
The defeat in Afghanistan gradually led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union as a competitor of the USA. The international arms race, the economic recession and immense war costs led to a national bankruptcy that Gorbatschow tried to counteract with a political change of direction in 1958. The war in Afghanistan marked an important change in the cold war as numerous nuclear weapons were dismantled afterwards and the bipolar world order drew to a close.
In Afghanistan itself the Taliban seized power in 1994 and reformed the country into a fundamental theocracy. This terminated the longstanding civil war and led to a stable order of peace2.