Analyse the reasons for conflicts in Afghanistan and discuss its consequences
Landlocked and mountainous, Afghanistan has suffered from such grave instability and conflict stretching over three decades, that its economy and infrastructure are in ruins, and many of its people are refugees. In the 19th Century it was at the centre of the so-called ‘Great Game;, when imperial Russia and the British Empire in India vied for influence in the region.
When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 to help bolster a pro-Communist government in the Middle Eastern nation, however with greater consequences than first imagined. What immediately followed was a 10-year civil war, in which Soviet troops fought Mujahideen, who used guerrilla warfare tactics. The war in Afghanistan became a jihad, or holy war, and a rallying point for many Muslims, with the conflict drawing young men from across the Muslim world to fight on the side of the guerillas. According to The 9/11 Commission Report, "mosques, schools, and boarding houses served as recruiting stations in many parts of the world, including the United States." The war was a virtual stalemate for seven years. But a turning point came in 1986 after the United States and Great Britain supplied shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles to the Afghan guerrillas. The weaponry gave the ground forces a increased chance against the Soviet’s air power. As The 9/11 Commission Report states, together with Saudi Arabia, the United States supplied billions of dollars worth of secret assistance to rebel Afghan groups resisting the Soviet occupation. In April 1988 the Afghans declared victory, and early the next year the Soviet troops began to withdraw.
The war was over, but it had sewed the seeds of an extremist Islamic ideology (the jihad as holy war) and put into place an infrastructure out of which emerged a powerful and deadly terrorist network. Though most Muslims hold peaceful views, a minority of Muslims view any...