Hello defence lovers! In this article, we are going to discuss the changing dynamics of Afghanistan. As the US and collision troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Taliban is conquering district after district. Taliban is using the german blitzkrieg technique to gain territories. In a series of articles, we are going to discuss why this situation is alarming for India and what India can do to control it. In other words, we are going to analyse the current situation of Afghanistan from the Indian perspective.
Brief History Of Afghanistan
Afghanistan has a rich ancient and medieval history. But we will only focus briefly on its modern history which is relevant in the context for understanding the current situation. Afganistan used to be a monarchy. The Last King of Afghanistan was King Zahir Shah. Under him, the country remained neutral in the era of the cold war and received aid from both the USA and the Soviet Union amidst their rivalry. But in 1973, when the King was on a visit to Italy, Daoud Khan seized the power of the country in a bloodless coup abolishing the monarchy. Afghanistan received its first president.
The Saur Revolution
It was the peak of the Cold war and the Soviet Union was busy spreading its communist ideology across the globe. Afghanistan also became a pawn in this battle of Capitalism Vs Communism. In April 1978, the Soviet-backed Democratic Party of Afghanistan seized power in a bloody coup d’état which ended with the assassination of then-president Daoud Khan and his entire family in the presidential palace. Nur Muhammad Tariki became the new president and adopted Communism.
However, the communist policies faced massive opposition which caused widespread unrest and ultimately resulted in the Afghan civil war. The Mujahideen which was a guerrilla force backed by Pakistan and the US waged a war against the communist regime. Under these unstable conditions president, Taraki was assassinated in September 1979 in a coup led by his own prime minister Hafizullah Amin.
The Soviet Invasion
Amin was unable to control the situation in Afghanistan and requested Soviet assistance. The Soviet Union mobilized thousands of soldiers and heavy military equipment. But they were not there to help Amin control Afghanistan, instead, they were there to seize the control. Amin was killed subsequently by Spetnaz soldiers in his Fort. When he was being killed he was in utter disbelief. This is how Afghanistan became a part of the Soviet Union, at least for a while.
Soviet-Afghan War: The Rise Of Taliban
At the peak of the cold war, how could the USA tolerate its enemy gaining so much territory? Taliban was the American answer to the soviets. The Americans helped evil to rise to counter the soviets. With the American supplied FIM 92 Stingers, the guerrilla Taliban fighters shot down mighty Soviet Gunships. After nine years of brutal fighting, in 1988 the Soviets decided to withdraw from Afghanistan, and eventually, the Afghanistan invasion became the root cause of the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
The American Joy and victory celebration could not last long. Soon the Taliban took the control of entire Afghanistan. Sharia Law was imposed and Afghanistan became a hell, especially for women. Taliban provided safe Heaven to all Terrorist organizations. One of them was the Infamous Al-Qaeda.
The 9/11 Attack and War On Terror
America had to pay for its sins in Afghanistan. Eventually, the 9/11 attacks took place. Thousands of innocent people were killed. American blood was spilled on its own soil. It was the point when the US realized that it had helped a devil to grow. After this incident, the US jumped into the War on terror.
Now the US had to deal with the problem that it had created in the first place. What goes around, comes around. in 2002, along with the US, other NATO troops invaded Afghanistan. Their ultimate aim was to wipe terrorists out of Afghanistan. The fighting continued for 20 years.
During these 20 years, the war was full of ups and downs. Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks was hunted down in Abbottabad in Pakistan. There was a time when it seemed that Afghanistan was free of the Taliban. The US and the coalition helped to build and National army, provided it training and weapons. A democratic government was elected and functioned somewhat successfully amidst continued fighting.
But now just because of its internal politics, the US is leaving Afghanistan. The Taliban has begun to rise again and the conditions are going back to the pre-2002 state. The entire Afghanistan story was the result of two American Blunders. The first one was supporting the terrorists in the Soviet era and the second one is leaving Afghanistan now. Not only that the US has left behind large numbers of trucks and armored vehicles which it did not found meeting its operational requirements. Even this equipment was not even transferred to Afghan National Army. Just to meet its domestics political targets, the US is irresponsibly leaving Afghanistan in a hurry. The Taliban is using the American equipment which it left behind to target the Afghan Forces. The Changing Dynamics of Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s rise will affect the entire world. The security of the entire central Asia is at stake. Meanwhile another devil Pakistan is helping the Taliban to grow again.
In the next part, we will discuss how the changing dynamics of Afghanistan will effect India. We will also discuss how the Taliban can be contained and what role India can play in it.