Soviet–Afghan War

From Metapedia
(Redirected from Soviet war in Afghanistan)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Soviet–Afghan War (27 December 1979 – 15 February 1989), also known as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, occurred after a Communist coup (and the usual Red Terror) in Afghanistan in 1978, followed by insurgencies and internal Communist conflicts, which caused a 1979 Soviet military invasion and a new pro-Soviet coup. For the next decade, Muslim guerillas supported by Muslim and Western countries[1] fought the Communists. In association with the fall of Communism, the Soviet forces left Afghanistan in 1989 and the Communist regime was overthrown in 1992. As many as 2 million civilians were killed. The war, seen as a victory for Islamism, contributed to the ongoing Islamization and was an origin for various Islamist terrorist organizations.


The Soviet War in Afghanistan has its origin in 1978 when a group of communists within Afghanistan took over the Afghan government in a coup they termed the Saur Revolution. This new communist government, called the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, was opposed by virtually every part of Afghan society. By 1979, just one year later, it was apparent that the "Democratic Republic of Afghanistan" was going to be toppled if it did not receive external military support to prop it up. It called upon the Soviet Union, which was its puppetmaster in the first place, to provide that military support. It did.

The Soviet Union's most powerful weapon was not tanks, planes, or even nuclear weapons, it was propaganda. Whenever the Soviet Union would invade a country, or send its agents to create a civil war leading to a communist takeover of that country, it would spew large amounts of propaganda within that country that appealed to the liberal humanist sensibilities of the day. In Europe, where liberal humanist thought had impacted almost every aspect of the culture for many centuries, this strategy worked very well. Enough people were fooled into throwing down their arms so that the communists could take over and easily eliminate whatever remaining resistance there was. It worked to some extent even in places like East Asia, where it was vogue among many societal elites to receive a Western education, where they were exposed to liberal humanist ideas.

However, Afghanistan was so isolated from the rest of the world that this simply did not work the way that it had in Europe and East Asia. There was no overall tradition of liberal humanism, nor a significant cadre of liberal-educated elites, within Afghanistan that communist propaganda could appeal to. Because of this, Afghans not only rejected the "Democratic Republic of Afghanistan" out of hand, but when the USSR invaded to prop up its beleaguered puppet regime, Afghans continued fighting even when most of the rest of the world believed they were "clearly beaten". Eventually, the Soviets gave up. They pulled their troops out in late 1988 and early 1989. The Afghan communist puppet regime, the "Democratic Republic of Afghanistan", was overthrown soon thereafter.

The USSR's defeat in the war not only shattered the myth of Soviet invincibility, it shattered the Marxist myth that communist revolution everywhere in the world was "inevitable". This caused an overall collapse of faith in communism that was a major factor in the fall of the USSR and its remaining satellites in the upcoming years of 1989-1991.

Geneva Accords

The Geneva Accords were the agreements on the settlement of the situation relating to Afghanistan, were signed on 14 April 1988 at the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the United States and the Soviet Union serving as guarantors. The accords consisted of several instruments: a bilateral agreement between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Afghanistan on the principles of mutual relations, in particular on non-interference and non-intervention; a declaration on international guarantees, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States; a bilateral agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the voluntary return of Afghan refugees; and an agreement on the interrelationships for the settlement of the situation relating to Afghanistan, signed by Pakistan and Afghanistan and witnessed by the Soviet Union and the United States. The agreements also contained provisions for the timetable of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. It officially began on 15 May 1988 and ended by 15 February 1989, thus putting an end to a nine-year-long Soviet occupation and Soviet–Afghan War


Soviet–Afghan War II.jpg

Soviet Troops:

  • 115,000

Afghan Government (Soviet loyals):

  • 55,000


  • 200,000–250,000


Soviet–Afghan War.jpg

Soviet and Afghan Government


  • 14,453 Killed (total)
    • 9,530 killed in combat
    • 3,386 died from wounds
    • 1,556 died from disease and accidents
  • 53,753 Wounded
  • 312 Missing

Afghan Government:

  • 18,000 killed


  • 200,000–1,000,000 Killed (tentative estimate)


Civilians (Afghan):

  • 600,000–2,000,000 killed
  • 5 million refugees outside of Afghanistan
  • 2 million internally displaced persons
  • Around 3 million Afghans wounded (mostly civilians

Civilians (Soviet):

  • Around 100 dead

External links



  1. The Mujahideen were unofficially supported by the United States of America, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, People's Republic of China, Canada, Republic of China (Taiwan), Indonesia (Suharto regime), United Kingdom and Turkey.