AFGHANISTAN-TALIBAN AND THEIR DOWNFALL
5. Geo-Strategic Importance of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is Central Asia’s land locked country, spread over an area of 253, 861 miles. Bordered on the North by the Republics of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, North-East by the Chinese province of Sinkiang, on the South-East by Pakistan, and on the West by Iran. Afghanistan’s geopolitical importance has been that of a buffer state first between the Tsarist Russian and the British Indian Empires and later between the Soviet Union and the American allies. In addition to it’s close proximity to the oil rich Persian Gulf and the erstwhile Soviet Union’ soft under belly added to its geopolitical ...view middle of the document...
9. Russian Invasion. During the cold war, King Mohammed Zahir Shah developed close ties with the Soviet Union, accepting extensive economic assistance from Moscow. He was deposed in 1973 and was succeeded by Mohammed Daoud, Noor Taraki, Hafizullah Amin and Babrak Karmal respectively. In 1979 Soviets, and the Soviet-backed Afghan government, were met with fierce popular resistance. Guerrilla forces, calling themselves mujahideen, pledged a jihad, to expel the invaders and they soon. became a focus of U.S. cold war strategy against the Soviet Union. In 1986, Karmal was replaced by Mohammad Najibullah. In April 1988 the USSR, U.S, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed accords calling for an end to outside aid to the warring factions. In return a Soviet withdrawal took place in Feb. 1989, but the pro-Soviet government of President Najibullah was left in the capital Kabul.
10. Consequences of Soviet Withdrawal
a. Emergence of Unipolar World/Disintegration of USSR.
b. Estb of a New World Order
c. Predilection to Former USSR States
d. Image of Soviet Armed Forces
e. Rise of Civil War and Anarchy in Afghanistan
f. Destruction of Economy
g. Rise of Fundamentalism
h. War Casualties
i. Refugee Problems for Pakistan including :-
(1) Law and Order problems
(2) Economic burden
(3) Drug culture
(4) Flow of illegal weapons
(5) Disturbed demography of N.W.F.P and Balochistan Province
(6) Partial control over small businesses particularly in N.W.F.P and Balochistan.
(7) Burden on civic amenities
(8) Increased unemployment
11. Rise of Taliban. By mid April 1992 Najibullah was ousted as Mujahideen advanced on the capital. Almost immediately the various rebel groups began fighting one another for control. Amid the chaos of competing factions a group calling itself the Taliban consisting of Islamic students seized control of Kabul in Sept. 1996. It imposed strict fundamentalist laws, including stoning for adultery and severing hands for theft. Women were prohibited from work and school and they were required to cover themselves from head to foot in public. By fall 1998 the Taliban controlled about 90% of the country and only three countries Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government.
12. Pre and Post 9/11 Scenario. On Aug 20 1998. U.S. cruise missiles struck a terrorist training complex in Afghanistan believed to have been financed by Osama bin Laden a wealthy Islamic radical sheltered by the Taliban. The U.S. asked for the deportation of Bin Laden whom it believed was involved in the bombing of the U.S embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on Aug . 7, 1998. The UN also demanded that the Taliban should hand over Bin Laden for trial. In Sep 2001 legendary guerrilla leader Ahmed Shah Masoud was killed by suicide bombers, a seeming death knell for the anti-Taliban forces a loosely connected group referred to as the Northern Alliance. Days...