Afghanistan and the Taliban Dr. Erick J. Mann Professor of History
Socio-Economic Background • Population: 32.4 million (UN, 2011) • Official Languages:Pashtu, Dari • Religion:Sunni Muslim 80-85%, Shi'a Muslim 15-19%, Other (Hindu, Christian) 1% • Life expectancy: 49 years (men), 49 years (women) (UN) • GDP - Composition: • Main exports: Fruit and nuts, carpets, wool, opium GNI per capita: US $410 (World Bank, 2010)
ETHNIC DIVERSITY • Over 30 different ethnic groups. They are not contained • within Afghanistan. • Pashtuns are the dominant ethnic groups, who account for about 38% of the population and ruled Afghanistan for most of the history of Afghanistan. • Tajiks are the second largest ethnic groups with about 25% • percent of the population. • Hazaras consists of about 10 to 15% • Uzbaks consists of about 9% • Others (Turkmen, Aimaq, Baluch, Nuristani) 13%
Tribal Traditions • Tribalism is the most important traditional institution • Tribes provide a sense of solidarity, security, and political • power to their members • For most ethnic groups, especially Pashtuns, tribal • identity and loyalty precede national identity and national • consciousness • Tribes follow and live by their own tribal code. Pashtuns call their tribal code Pashtunwali • Pashtunwali sets the limits of acceptable behavior and • governs the relations between tribes.
Pashtun Tribal Code • Jirgaor council of a form of local government and makes • decisions in all disputes • Badalor revenge is based on the principle of “an eye for • an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” It gives everyone the right • to balance justice. • Melmastiaor hospitality requires that a traveler must be • received and cared for and the host must protect him from • his enemies even at the cost of the host’s life. • Nanawati or asylum must be given to the deadliest enemy • who has voluntarily placed himself in one’s power and • requested a safe haven. • Nangor honor or bravery or one’s self-esteem • All offenses committed against one’s honor will be dealt with
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND • Geography and political competition • Ancient rivals and empires: Achaemenid, Ancient Greece, Mauryan, Sassanian, Aabs, Mongol, Mogul, and • Safavid (ruled in western Afghanistan) • Uzbeks (ruled northern parts of Afghanistan) • Moguls (in the eastern Afghanistan, including Kabul)
Emergence of Afghanistan • Ahmad Shah (1722-72) • Khan & founder of the Sadozai dynasty of the Abdali tribe = Saddozai clan of Popalzai sub-tribe of the Abdali (tribe) • October 1747 elected King (Shah) of • Afghanistan by an assembly of • Pashtun chiefs - Loya Jirga (Grand Council) assumed the name Durrani (Pearl of Pearls) • Ahmad Shah Durrani/baba
Anglo-Afghan wars of 1839-42 and 1878-80 • British agreed to subsidize an Afghan ruler strong enough to serve as a buffer • grandson, Amanullah Shah (reign 1919-1929) • 1921 ended British involvement in Afghan affairs • initiated a series of ambitious efforts at social and political modernization, but tribal opposition forced him to flee the country
Mohammad Zahir Shah (16 October 1914 – 23 July 2007) • ruled (1933 to 1973) • 1964 he sponsored a serious attempt at liberal, Islamic constitutionalism including free elections and partial parliamentary democracy
Mohammad Daud Khan • king's cousin seized power in a nearly bloodless coup and ruled as a republican president from 1973 to 1978 • Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Army in 1979 and the invasion ended in 1989 • Afghanistan - never was a colony.
A New Game: The Cold War • POST 1945 – Cold War = Afghanistan regained its status as a pawn of superpowers • Superpower rivalries-Cold War = further disintegration of the Afghan state. • COMPETITION BEARS ARMS • Afghan government needed to modernize its armed • forces to: • Maintain internal security • Gain control of independent tribes • Strengthen central government to foster political and economic development
U.S. government rejected Afghan request for arms, Afghans turned to the Soviet Union • Soviet Union provided Afghanistan military • hardware, built several airports, and thousands of • Afghans went the Soviet Union for military training. • Most of the officers either joined the Afghan Communist Party or became sympathetic to it. • ORIGIN OF THE COMMUNISTPARTY • ►The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) • was formed in 1965 • ►The PDPA split and remained divided until July 1977 • Parcham(meaning "Banner") gradual move towards socialism • Khalq("Masses") radical reforms
Babrak Karmal was the leader of Parcham • Noor M. Taraki and Hafizullah Amin = leaders of Khalq • Parcham helped the last Mohammadzai, • Daoud, oust the king in a coup in 1973. • Daoud declared himself the president and included members of Parcham in his government. • Once consolidated his power, Daoud marginalized the role of Parcham • tried to reduce the influence of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan • Soviets concluded that Daoud had become too independent to be tolerated. Taraki Karmal Amin
The People’s Democratic Party • THE SAUR REVOLUTION 'Saur' means 'April' in Pushto • Soviet KGB reunited the two factions of the PDPA • A prominent PDPA leader, Mir A. Khyber, was • assassinated in April, 1978. • His murder led to a bloody coup on April 27, 1978. • The coup leaders renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. • Taraki became the Prime Minister • Karmal and Amin became Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, respectively.
The Saur Coup of 1978 • Several months later, the Khalq faction temporarily succeeded to sideline the leaders of the Parcham faction • Intense power struggle started between leaders of the Khalq, Taraki and Amin. • Amin supporters assassinated Taraki in October, 1979 • Amin instituted a program of radical socialism and brutal oppression
Amin’s Social Reforms • SOCIAL REFORMS • Land reform: limited land ownership by a family to • 14.3 acres of land. • Reducing bride-prices or dowry to 300 Afghani or $6.00 • Prohibiting arranged marriages • Prohibiting marriage for women under 16 years and for men • under 18 years of age. • Outlawed usury • OPPOSITION AND RESISTENCE TO REFORMS • These reforms challenged the prevailing traditional and • Islamic values and sentiments of Afghans. • The regime encountered bitter resistance.
Resistance to Reforms • Amin failed to contain opposition, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and installed to power the leader of the Parcham faction of the PDPA, Karmal, in December, 1979. • Amin was assassinated by a special Soviet commando unit KGB SPETSNAZ (Alpha Group) while was entertaining his guests at the opening of the new presidential palace. • Babrak Karmal became President. • To gain legitimacy, Karmal rolled backed most of • Amin’s reform, including a new Afghan flag.
Soviet Invasion • Phase one: occupation (December 1979 to February 1980) • Phase two: Soviet offensives (March 1980 to April 1985) • Phase three: exit strategy (April 1985 to January 1987) • Phase four: withdrawal (January 1987 to February 1989) • Between December 25, 1979 and February 15, 1989 a total of 620,000 soldiers served with the forces in Afghanistan (though there were only 80,000-104,000 force at one time ) • 525,000 in the Army, 90,000 with border troops and other KGB sub-units, 5,000 in independent formations of MVD Internal Troops and police. A further 21,000 personnel were with the Soviet troop contingent over the same period doing various white collar or manual jobs.
Resistance Movement • Most Afghans viewed Karmal as the puppet and refused to grant his regime legitimacy & joined the opposition. • Opposition took the form of a religious jihad or holy war, a war in defense of Islam against the atheist regime of Kabul. • The oppositions established their headquarters and bases in Peshawar, Pakistan. • They were made up of seven military-political groups.
Afghan casualties • Over 1 million Afghans were killed. • 5 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran, 1/3 of the prewar population of the country & Another 2 million Afghans were displaced within the country. • In the 1980s, one out of two refugees in the world was an Afghan. • 2 million Afghans disabled—both Mujahideen and noncombatants—and 3 million maimed or wounded—primarily noncombatants. • one quarter had their irrigation systems destroyed and their livestock shot by Soviet or Afghan Communist troops • Land mines had killed 25,000 Afghans during the war and another 10-15 million land mines, most planted by Soviet and Afghan government forces, were left scattered throughout the countryside to kill and maim • population of Afghanistan's second largest city, Kandahar, was reduced from 200,000 before the war to no more than 25,000 inhabitants, following a months-long campaign carpet bombing and bulldozing by the Soviets and Afghan Communist soldiers in 1987
The CIA and the Arabs • The CIA launched a major covert operation to help the • Mujahideen defeat communism. • The CIA placed ads in Arab newspapers to recruit young Muslims to join the Afghan “holy war.” • The CIA eventually provided the Mujahideen with thedecisive weapon of the war, the Stinger missiles in 1986. • Eventually the Soviet Union withdrew its forces from Afghanistan on February 15, 1989. • Mohammad Najibullah - last Afghan Communist ruled several more • Years negotiating with Mjahideen leaders such as Ahmad Shah Massoud "Lion of Panjshir". • 1992 Najibullah agreed to step down in favor of a transitional government • Burhanuddin Rabbani President from 1992-1996
Mujahideen • Mujahideen assumed power from the last Afghan • Communist in April 1992. • Mujahideen could not agree among themselves about the sharing of power. • They turned their guns against each other and the country became engulfed in a civil war and was divided in several independent zones, each with its own warlord. • Kabul was also divided into zones of occupations and turned it into an armed camps.
Id Gah Mosque founded in 1893, Photo 1994. Kabul Mosque, among the ruins of Kabul. Photo 1994 The city center, lies in ruins, Photo 1994.
The victory arch, built by King Amanullah (1919-1929). The arch commemorates those who were martyred in the war of Independence in 1919. Insert, Damaged by Mujahideen infightings between 1992-96.
The Taliban • The world Taliban is the plural of and Arabic word, Talib or someone who seeks religious knowledge before he becomes a preacher in a mosque. • Sons of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and attended Pakistani schools of theology (madrasas) • Became active in October 1994 in Qandahar and continued there advances in the country with help of Pakistan • By 1997 they held about 90 percent of the Afghan territory, including Kabul.
Kabul Falls to the Taliban • Mohammad Najibullah - executed
THE TALIBAN “ACHIEVEMENT” • Brought relative “peace” and “security” in the country • They banished the warlords and forced them to the northeastern corner the country where they formed the Northern Alliance • Restored law and order but through rigorous enforcement of Islamic punishment: public beating, flogging, amputation of hands, and stoning to death. • The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Suppression of Vice was the powerful arm of the Taliban government. The ministry issued strict religious decrees that denied people the right to freedom of expression, association, • the right to work, and the right to education. • Prohibited games such as kite flying, chess, music, cassette • Only three countries recognized the Taliban government: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan
Ahmad Shah Massoud(September 2, 1953 – September 9, 2001) • "Lion of Panjshir". • Defense Minister of Afghanistan in 1992 under Rabbani • United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (UIF, Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islami-yi Milli bara-yi Nijat-i Afghanistan), also known as the Northern Alliance • umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 • assassinated by al-Qaeda