Reagan's Involvement In The Afghanistan Conflict

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A) How did Reagan's election affect American involvement in the Afghanistan conflict? Reagan increased the American involvement in Afghanistan after being sworn into office. Originally President Jimmy Carter had promised the Afghani freedom fighters aid but Reagan decided he needed to take more proactive measures because communism was looked upon as America’s biggest threat at the time. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan also solidified Reagan’s decision. Initially, Carter only planned on supporting the freedom fighters take down the communist regime that was in power, but after fighting started, the Soviets decided to step in. He supplied the mujahedeen with weapons and billions of dollars through the CIA. Most of these weapons…show more content…
They were very conservative and eventually expanded their reach into politics. They remained very influential throughout the whole war and eventually once the Soviets left, they easily came into power as a result of all the turmoil and chaos. Small factions that came into the country to join the fight had disbanded and were all struggling for power; Afghanistan was in a state of Anarchy. They wanted to restore peace and enforce the Sharia law as well as to defend Islam. At first, US diplomats saw the Taliban’s rise as good because they saw them as the right people to help Afghanistan rebuild itself. The U.S. also believed that they would be able to establish good relations with them and since their country was rich in oil, they would also be able to use their good standings to their advantage. The U.S. didn’t really care about the local politics, mostly in part due to the fact that it didn’t really affect them. They only wanted to make sure the Soviets left Afghanistan. This resulted in the Pakistanis electing the local jihad leaders and naturally they elected more conservative ones because Afghanistan boarded Pakistan and thus they believed they needed a strong neighbor who had a similar mindset. In the book it also mentions that the Pakistanis saw Afghanistan as an ally in their own domestic Kashmir conflict. This was territory that India had taken from them and they wanted to get back. In order to pose more of a threat, they needed a stronger force and the ISI believed if they put the right person in power in Afghanistan, that they would get their backing. As mentioned previously, this conflict also attracted many foreign Islamists and some from Iran who had anti-American sentiments. This also resulted in the Taliban’s negative views towards the Americans. The Taliban was a product of the CIA and ISI. The children growing up in Afghanistan were often subjected to radical

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