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    Afghanistan in the 70\'s

    The 1970s were, as now, a turbulent time in Afghanistan. Divisive politics, government corruption, hostility among religious factions, terrorist groups such as the brutal Taliban, and other factors led to a call for reform in the nation. The 1970s witnessed mounting political, economic and social ills in the country that many blamed on external factors such as foreign invasion and interference. In the 1970s, two political coups unfolded which, ultimately, witnessed the "People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA)" come to power, a government that installed a pro-Soviet regime in 1978 (Laurier 1). The Mujahideen guerilla insurgency continued to create instability in the nation, encouraging the PDPA to "invite the USSR to enter the country in 1979" (Laurier 2). The civil war that unfolded in Afghanistan stemmed from the desire of Prime Minister Hazifullah Amin's efforts to bring about reforms in the nation, primarily Western reforms. This caused outrage among the mainly Muslim nation, many of whom joined the Mujahideen. The Mujahideen "declared a jihad - a holy war - on the supporters of Amin" (Soviet 1). It was these warring factions that weakened the country and made the Amin government turn to the Soviet Union for support against the Islamic religious fundamentalists.

    The Amin government wanted to institute reforms that were Western or secular in nature, from representative government to secular control of government and society. Neo-liberal economic reforms were also part of the plan. However, Islamic fundamentalists remained opposed to any reforms they viewed as undermining Islam or belief in Allah. What must be remembered is that the U.S. and the Soviet Union were engaged in the Cold War, a conflict in which the two powers fought wars at a distance in other nations (i.e. Vietnam, Korea, etc.). As Laurier writes of the Soviet takeover of the Afghanistan government, "The U.N. report


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