Three: 1980

  • Mark Urban


The Soviet introduction of massive military force into Afghanistan was accompanied by the launch of a new political initiative. Throughout the first months of 1980 the Afghan and Soviet media repeated the theme that the change of government in Kabul had been so significant that it marked a ‘new phase’ or a ‘new stage’ in the April Revolution. Underlying the Karmal package was the belief that the Khalqis had alienated the population because they had tried to push the pace of change too quickly. As far as the Kremlin was concerned, Amin had been precipitate in declaring Afghanistan a socialist state. The PDPA did not have the membership, nor the government the right mechanisms for harnessing public support for this to happen. As the director of the Soviet Institute of Oriental Affairs, Yevgeniy Primakov, was to state later, revolts erupted because Amin and his colleagues ‘did not take objective reality into consideration’.1


Soviet Institute International Herald Tribune Central Corps Soviet Invasion Soviet Force 
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  1. 14.
    R. D. M. Furlong and Theodore Winkler, ‘The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan’, in International Defence Review, no. 2, 1980.Google Scholar
  2. 16.
    N. and S. Peabody Newell, The Struggle for Afghanistan (Cornell University Press, 1981).Google Scholar
  3. 17.
    A. Hyman, Afghanistan Under Soviet Domination (Macmillan, 1984).Google Scholar
  4. 20.
    US State Department, Reports of the Use of Chemical Weapons in Afghanistan, Laos, and Kampuchea, Summer 1980.Google Scholar
  5. 22.
    Anwar Sadat quoted in the Observer, 27 September 1981.Google Scholar
  6. 23.
    See Edward Girardet, Afghanistan, the Soviet War (Croom Helm, 1985) for a detailed account of relief efforts and the refugee problem.Google Scholar
  7. 27.
    Leonid Brezhnev, Pravda, 13 January 1980.Google Scholar
  8. 28.
    For details of coalition see Agence France Presse, 22 April 1981; for Hekmatyar’s role see Far Eastern Economic Review, 23 January 1981.Google Scholar
  9. 37.
    David Isby, ‘Soviet Tactics in the War in Afghanistan’, Jane’s Defence Review vol. 4, no. 7, 1984.Google Scholar
  10. 42.
    Nigel Ryan, A Hitch or Two in Afghanistan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983).Google Scholar
  11. 43.
    General V. G. Reznichenko, Tactics (Voenizdat, 1984).Google Scholar
  12. 44.
    Colonel Yu. Pavlov, ‘The Commander and Modern Warfare, The Mountain Variant’, in Krasnaya Zvezda, 1 June 1980.Google Scholar
  13. 56.
    Jim Coyne, ‘SOF Interviews Russian POWs’, Soldier of Fortune, February 1984.Google Scholar
  14. 59.
    G. Jacobs, ‘Afghan Forces: How Many Are There?’, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 22 June 1985.Google Scholar
  15. 62.
    US State Department, The Soviet Dilemma in Afghanistan, June 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mark L. Urban 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Urban
    • 1
  1. 1.The IndependentUK

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