Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / / Articles
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its impact on the geopolitical situation in the region
Material posted: Publication date: 13-10-2016

The reference to the past is not just a tribute to historically approved the provisions, principles and values, it is a necessary method of human orientation in historical time and space, the natural need of the present to find himself a place and purpose between past and future.

From the moment Soviet troops entered Afghanistan, more than one third of a century. However, until now the events of the past years concern people, forced again and again to return in those early years. This is largely due to the fact that the problem of the Afghan war is still not widely appreciated in the writings of historians, journalists, and public figures. And to this day these events are dominated by the point of view of the period of "Gorbachev - Yakovlev perestroika", when the condemnation of the Soviet Union for any reason was considered the only possible "civilized" approach objective reporting of history. During the period of "perestroika" and then "democratic transition", a "democratically minded" leaders have heaped up so many myths of Soviet reality (including the events related to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) that need time in order to show people, society their inconsistency. Many of these myths are already busted.

I speak about events in Afghanistan through the study of various documents (including prior to the Soviet invasion, and after their withdrawal), through a comparison of different points of view. And of course a big influence on me was the stories of my father, who passed through Afghanistan in the early 80-ies. I must say that interest in the subject and today is very high, but after a lot of time after the end of the war, when the passions subsided a bit, not quite so unambiguous and seem to be a dominant judgment today on Afghanistan. Today there are sound and other opinions in the assessment of those events. To denounce, defame other views, but the time will come (maybe it's already come) and they too will take their proper place in history. And if we want to live in a world of reality, not myths and legends arising from the conjectural injected passions, you need more than is inevitable in the beginning, sharp and impressionable personality, the everyday perspective on the events of the past, and find a broader historical view, taking into account the different sides and aspects of reality.

Of course, I will not take responsibility to speak clearly on all issues, because, really, not everything is clear and fully meaningful. But some definite conclusions about the Afghan events, apparently, can be done.

And one more thing. Whatever conclusions we do, they will not rid us of the bitterness of mistakes and failures, the pain of loss of loved ones. But this requires a deeper understanding of what has been and draw lessons for the future.

So, was the inevitable well-known events in Afghanistan 1973 and 1978? Perhaps those revolutionary changes that occurred in those years in Afghanistan, had to happen sooner or later. People living in Afghanistan, Afghan society could not live in such poverty and underdevelopment. But on the other hand, the people of Afghanistan because of their religiosity, illiteracy, poverty, and other diverse circumstances, probably could not perceive such changes in their lives that have brought revolution in April 1987 of Course, it was necessary to conduct more appropriate to the Afghan context, clear people and society political, economic and social innovations. Perhaps the question of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan with this approach and would not be considered (this author realizes, of course, it's easy to be smart and to make such findings many years after they actually took place events).

But in 70-80 of the last century, the Afghan problem is exacerbated by the fact that in the struggle between the old and new joined forces that did not want any reforms in the country. This they took up arms against those who sought in Afghanistan to change and make people's lives better.

The struggle of various forces in Afghan society about the future development of the country, it is an internal matter of Afghanistan. But from the standpoint of ensuring the security of the southern borders of the USSR, from the point of view of its geopolitical interests, the Soviet leadership was not indifferent to who wins in this fight. The coming to power alone meant peace and tranquility on the southern borders, the presence of friendly relations with that state, and the other victory could lead to confrontation and the emergence of serious threats on the borders. It is necessary to reckon with the fact that the United States had shown great interest in Afghanistan (especially after 1978, in Iran there was the Shah in the Iranian revolution and the US had an ally in the region). The US desire to penetrate the region confirmed today a huge number of documents and facts. However, today we hear from many "democratically-minded" leaders of the assertion that no Union in the South was not threatened and not threatened now, all the talk about the danger just made up.

In these circumstances, the Soviet leadership could not fail to react to the events that took place in Afghanistan. They could affect the situation in the Central Asian republics, to cause the necessity of strengthening the grouping of troops on the southern borders (which is a huge cost) and to destabilize the General situation in the region. Therefore, the Soviet leadership taking the decision to send troops to Afghanistan was based on specific historical conditions and situations of true in the period of perestroika so-called "universal values", the abstract concepts and principles. Even today, the leading state in protecting its national values do not come from abstract concepts, and its national interests.

If we proceed with such positions and subject to all terms of the situation, which developed by the time it becomes absolutely obvious that the Soviet leadership could not remain aloof from the events in Afghanistan and once had to respond to them.

Of course, after several dozen years since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (knowing the circumstances of the case and purpose of the parties), we can say that the best way solution to the Afghan problem would be to find the means and methods of a political settlement of internal and external contradictions of Afghan society, through the formulation of various initiatives and proposals that would be acceptable in Afghanistan the warring parties.

The decision to send troops to Afghanistan, the Soviet leadership has adopted on the basis of the analysis of the situation in the region and his vision of future developments. It was known that even before the April revolution of 1978, Iran, Pakistan actively opposed king Zahir Shah, Daoud government, supported the opposition forces. The United States sought to infiltrate into Afghanistan and really to influence events in this country. And of course, the Soviet leadership could not fail to be aware of these facts.

In terms of rivalry between the two "superpowers" in major military conflicts, none of the parties vying for the political scene of Afghanistan, could not win a decisive victory because they relied on financial and military support of these powers. In Afghanistan, the Soviet Union assisted the government forces, and the United States, Pakistan, Iran and other States to the Mujahideen. But existed in Afghanistan, the regime had and internal stimuli. This is especially clearly manifested itself after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in January - February, 1989, With the withdrawal of Soviet troops armed Afghan opposition has set itself a more decisive and larger strategic goals than it was in previous years, namely, the overthrow of the existing order and the seizure of power in Afghanistan. In the presence of Soviet troops for such tasks, it could not set and was limited to guerrilla and subversive actions to destabilize the situation in the country. This determined the increased scale and ferocity of the fighting during 1989, however, with the withdrawal of Soviet troops military capabilities of the Republic of Afghanistan and in the whole of the forces opposing the rebels has diminished substantially.

But despite this, the government of the Republic of Afghanistan held political, strategic position and, basically, firmly controlled the majority of provincial centers and counties previously occupied. The opposition could take a number of actions to carry out the shelling of the city, but she was not able militarily to reverse the situation in their favor and eventually would be forced to negotiate. Why the Najibullah regime could still hold. He fell only after he lost support of the Soviet Union, and military support for the Mujahideen continued.

On April 14, 1988 in Geneva, the representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, USSR and USA in the presence of the UN Secretary General signed the agreement on political settlement of the situation around Afghanistan. Among the signed documents included dvuhstoronka agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan on principles of mutual relations, non-interference, non-intervention, on the return of refugees. The agreement provided for the construction of a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan without interference from other countries from outside. The guarantors of these agreements began, the Soviet Union and the United States.

However, further events began to develop in a different direction. The Geneva accords of 1988 were not implemented. USA and certain forces in Russia (as the legal successor of the USSR) took the course to support one side of the Mujahideen and the suppression of the other.

In conclusion, I would like to note that the decision to send Soviet troops to Afghanistan was due to the need to ensure the security of the USSR. This is evidenced in numerous sources. As many researchers say, if the Soviet Union introduced its troops there, they would introduce to the Americans.

And again. Now the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan called "aggression", "intervention", "occupation". This writer does not share these points of view. Form of stay of Soviet troops in Afghanistan does not allow to speak about the occupation. After all, there has been exploitation of natural resources or the economy. You can't call and intervention. Soviet troops entered Afghanistan at the request of the government, on the basis of bilateral agreement between the USSR and Afghanistan.

As a result of the invasion of the Soviet Union decided a number of geopolitical problems, left after the withdrawal of troops more or less viable Afghanistan, in 10 years of war, troops of the opposition failed to carry out any major operation, to seize any major cities. Despite US aid to the Afghan armed opposition, the government of Najibullah lasted until 1992 after surviving thus, the Soviet Union. This clearly shows that a number of challenges with geopolitical contingent of Soviet troops fulfilled. The fact that this success was not used and not assigned to the Soviet leadership, in no case does not mean that this success was not. However, after the collapse of the USSR, the Russian leadership has embarked on a sweeping criticism of the Soviet past, and therefore intentionally ignored in fact obvious.

In General, I am not inclined to throw a stone in the direction of the leadership of the USSR adopted a decision to send troops to Afghanistan. Still in Russia there are numerous organizations of Afghan war veterans. These people are proud of their awards and medals received in those years, contribute to Patriotic education of youth. And it is necessary to preserve the memory of those events, not shoot in the past.

Kadyrovа, L. B.

RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security
Возрастное ограничение