Maybe they shouldn’t have done it?
The Kingdom of Afghanistan has become an important strategic partner of the USSR in South Asia since the 1920s. Initially, it was considered as a springboard for the Red Army’s campaign in British India. Later, when the Soviet leadership abandoned the idea of a world revolution, Afghanistan provided the Soviet Union with the security of the southern border.
At the same time, Afghanistan’s policy remained multi-vector. The Kingdom of Afghanistan developed relations with all Western countries, emphatically not joining any military-political bloc. The USSR considered the «non-aligned movement» as one of the ways to free third world countries from the influence of the United States, without resorting to the imposition of socialist ideas.
The peak of cooperation between the USSR and the Kingdom of Afghanistan fell on the 1960s — early 1970s. Industrial enterprises were built in Afghanistan with the participation of specialists from the USSR. Many officers of the royal army of Afghanistan were trained in Soviet higher military educational institutions. These officers formed the backbone of the conspirators who overthrew the monarchy in 1973.
For the USSR, the overthrow of the king of Afghanistan did not represent any benefit. But the leadership of the USSR did not understand this. The Afghan military, who studied in the USSR, were somehow introduced to communist ideology. They, like the Russian Decembrists, learned that republicanism was better than a «backward» monarchy, and decided to embody progressive ideals in their homeland.
And then began what usually happens in a country that has lost its traditional monarchical rule. Among the new rulers began an unrestrained struggle for power. Of course, the new rulers sought to secure the favor of the Soviet leadership, and therefore declared their «socialist choice».
The first such ambitious people (led by Taraki) came to power in 1978. In 1979, they were overthrown by another group (led by Amin), also like the «Afghan Communists.» But this latter was no longer oriented towards the USSR, but towards Maoist China, which sought to use the instability in a neighboring country in order to establish its influence in it. As a result, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU under the leadership of Brezhnev in December 1979 decided to forcibly overthrow the Afghan leadership and send Soviet troops into Afghanistan.
The elders from the Politburo thought that everything would work out, and that Afghanistan under the new leadership would become a reliable and loyal ally of the USSR to a greater extent than it was under the king. But they miscalculated badly. Not only did the military action hit hard on the international prestige of the USSR, likening our country to the United States during the aggression in Vietnam (even the USSR’s Warsaw Pact ally, Ceausesque Romania, voted for the UN resolution condemning the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan!). The USSR, in the form of «gratuitous aid,» began to swell huge funds into Afghanistan from its already languishing economy. And the regular «cargo 200» with the corpses of our soldiers who died in Afghanistan became one of the factors that led to the ideological and political collapse of the USSR in the eyes of its citizens.
The belated withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, carried out by Gorbachev in early 1989, could not save the situation. In Afghanistan, through the joint efforts of the United States, China and Pakistan, a movement of dushmans was created, which concentrated armed resistance to the Soviet Union and the communist government of Afghanistan. Its ideological basis was Islamic fundamentalism as a counterbalance to the system of values of the secular state implanted by the Soviet Union. For the Afghans, brought up by Islam for centuries, the ideas of equal rights for women and secular education were unacceptable.
The economic basis of the Dushman movement, with the help of the United States, was the production and export of drugs. The US CIA was by no means going to support spooks at its own expense, but transferred them to «self-sufficiency». The simplest means of such «self-sufficiency» was the transfer of areas of Afghanistan controlled by dushmans to the monoculture of opium poppy. As a result, the majority of the population of Afghanistan became economically connected with the production and export of drugs.
After the collapse of the USSR, the fall of the secular regime in Afghanistan was not far off. Nevertheless, the Republic of Afghanistan held out until 1992, three years after the withdrawal of Soviet troops. This is in stark contrast to the ignominious flight of American troops and their puppets that has now taken place.
After the overthrow of the secular regime in Afghanistan, there was also a squabble for power among the leadership of the dushmans. Finally, a significant part of the dushmans was united by the openly fundamentalist Taliban * movement. In 1996, it seized power in Afghanistan.
In 2001, the United States used the explosions of the «twin skyscrapers» in New York for an armed invasion of Afghanistan. The US military operation, morally supported by Russia, led to the overthrow of the Taliban * and the establishment of a relaxed Islamic regime. However, the twenty years spent by the US military in Afghanistan have demonstrated the complete inability or unwillingness of the United States to ensure peace and stability in this part of Asia. First of all, nothing has been done to normalize the Afghan economy. Yes, this was difficult to do, given that the traditionally strong clans of Afghanistan are already accustomed to making super profits from the heroin trade.
The presence of Western troops constantly strengthened the Taliban* morale. In addition, the proteges of the United States turned out to be, as if by choice, thieving and corrupt. According to the Russian Embassy in Kabul, during the flight of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the money he took did not fit on the plane! It is clear that the people of Afghanistan had previously sharply hated such rulers and supported the Taliban * as an alternative to the corrupt pro-American government.
The fact that the Americans held out in Afghanistan twice as long as the Soviet troops (20 years instead of 10) is explained only by the fact that they did not break the traditional social situation of the Middle Ages familiar to Afghans. But the natural end of foreign occupation still came.
Is it necessary to drag into the modern world a people who feel comfortable when they live according to Sharia law? The main thing is not to interfere with the lives of others. Unfortunately, even now the Taliban* are unlikely to be able to observe modus vivendi with other states.
The Taliban, the Taliban, is a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation that formed the current government of Afghanistan