The question of the Afghan-Soviet conflict

The question of the Afghan-Soviet conflict
Magda F.

During the late 1970s, Afghanistan was entangled in a destructive conflict that would shape the course of its history. The nation's instability began in April 1978 when a left-wing coup overthrew President Mohammad Daud Khan, leading to the rise of Marxist-Leninist groups, namely the People’s Party and the Banner Party (“Afghan War”). The new government had close relations with the Soviet Union and implemented radical modifications that went against the largely anti-communist Afghan population. Simultaneously, Islamic rebellions, known as the Mujahideen, revolted against the communist regime (“The Soviet”).  

This internal conflict worsened on December 24, 1979, when the Soviet Union intervened militarily. The Soviets deployed approximately 30,000 troops, with the hope of depleting the rising Mujahideen forces. However, with the Mujahideen being sustained by military aid from the United States and other Muslim nations, the conflict quickly descended into a stalemate. Ultimately leaving the Mujahideen in control over the rural areas of Afghanistan, while Soviet forces controlled all major urban areas (“Soviet Invasion”). 

During the Soviet-Afghan Conflict, the United Nations played a crucial role in addressing the crisis. When Soviet forces entered Afghanistan in 1979, the Security Council debated the issue but failed to reach a resolution. This resulted in the matter being referred to as an emergency session of the General Assembly, which was strongly against the armed intervention and ordered the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops.

In 1981, Diego Cordovez, appointed for negotiations, began negotiations between the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan, at the UN's General Assembly in Geneva. These negotiations led to the Geneva Accords, fueled by the Soviet Union's desire to withdraw its forces, which ultimately created a compromise between the two nations. In 1988, the settlement was finalized, marking a significant milestone in the UN's efforts to resolve the conflict and promote peace in the region (“United Nations”).  The Soviet Union, along with the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, signed an accord, leading to the withdrawal of Soviet troops by February 15, 1989, marking the end of a difficult time in Afghan history (“Soviet Invasion”). 


Works Cited 

"Afghan War." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1 Sept. 2023, Accessed 5 Oct. 2023. 

"Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 4 Sept. 2023, Accessed 5 Oct. 2023. 

"The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S. Response, 1978–1980." The Office of the Historian, USA Department of State, 

Taylor, Alan. "The Soviet War in Afghanistan, 1979 - 1989." The Atlantic, 4 Aug. 2014, 

"United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan." United Nations,