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Afghanistan in Turmoil Author(s): David Chaffetz Source: International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol. 56, No.

1 (Jan., 1980), pp. 15-36 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Institute of International Affairs Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/10/2013 03:38
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David Chaffetz

100,000 soulsjust belowSovietTurkistan-anobserver couldalready nothelpbeing struck bytheechoesofEastern Europe.The wide,empty streets issuingfrom monumental roundabouts carried the onlytraffic-the slowchugofvintage in heavyovercoats bureaucrats Volga taxicabs bringing and Astrakhan capsfrom their bungalows in thequonset-hut suburbs to the stucco chancelleries in the city. Along these dustystreetsplump,East European matrons stoodbefore tiny fruit stands driving hardbargains with the Afghan vendors. In the centreof the city,in the tiledlapis and turquoise mosqueofImamAli, dervishes keptwatchoverthegraveofSherShah,the Amirwhoplayed Afghan theTsarsand theViceroys ofIndiaoff against one in the Great Game. When asked what theythought another of the Rus nowadays the dervishes . . . may volunteered, 'It's good forthe merchants Godnever letthem enjoy anything'. A visitor in thetimeoftheancienregime to Afghanistan wouldthusnot havebeentooquicktocallthecoupd'etatofApril1978 a major Soviet gainin Central Asia. The SovietUnion had long enjoyeda dominant role in the internal affairs of thatcountry, without havinghad much impacton the 'Thousandand One Nights' lifeof the Afghans. Most old Afghanhands greeted thecoupwith a ready, 'plusca change, plusc'est la meme chose'. But indications soonarosethat theRussians hadencouraged thislatest coupoutof frustration withthe twenty-five-year-old policyof giving aid to Afghanistan andseeing no results. In thiscoupthey havestepped in as never before, using the leverageof financial and technicalassistanceto seek to transform Afghanistan's traditional rural economy into a model .of Soviet-style centralised The government of the leftist development. Khalqi (People's) established in thewakeoftheAprilcoup,showsevery Party, signoftaking sucha programme in fact radical on with socialmeasures. seriously, hastening The speedand violence withwhichthenew government out its has carried has provokedrevoltsin the country'sever-volatile programme border provinces. Moreover, being unableto implement many reforms without heavy reliance on Comecon personnel, theKhalqi government has raised theprofile
* David Chaffetz a member Affairs, is editor-in-chief oftheJournal ofInternational and has contributed at Columbia papersand oftheMiddleEast Institute University, ofNew York. reviews aboutAfghanistan for publication bytheAsia Society 15

IN themid-1970s, visiting theindustrial city ofMazar-i-Sharif-a town of

Thisarticle went toPress theDecember before 1979coupinAfghanistan andthe Soviet intervention inthat country.

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Newv Left Review. 'Revolution 2. p..Whilenomadarmies in thepasthave usedthecountry as a highway for theconquest ofthesubcontinent.233 on Mon. After ten yearsof Daoud's Sovietgambit the development of the little thepremiership showed Daoud from -ountry improvement. and theRussians understand whatthey areup against inAfghanistan? The Legacy ofDaoud in Theyhavehadovertwenty-five years tolearn. thehuman reputation oftheAfghans. 1978. article. 1969).2 Thus neither norits Afghanistan's highways ninedivisions theSoviets offer muchstrategic advantage. Many observers viewedthiseventas epochal.Afghanistan thusbecamethefirst non-Communist country to seekSoviet development aid in thepostwar period. they wouldrealise a viablemilitary boththestrategic advantage ofgaining base. And despite thehighmartial unusable. With Soviet encouragement. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . wereto succeed. orextreme ofitstechnical infrastructure nowmakes sucha 'highway' fragility. On theother hand. 27. J. See FredHalliday's This content downloaded from 78.C.The effect ofDaoud's policies wastogivetheSoviet a greatstrategic stakein his country.86.000 metre-mountains androads. Extensive Soviet influence Afghanistan first aroseat theinstance ofMohammad Daoud Khan.a cousinof in the thenreigning Zaher Shah.86. Spurned bytheUnited States military support.regarding President Nasser's fateful switch to theRussiansin 1956 as havingbeen inspired by Daoud's example. inAfghanistan fall The Russian ofDaoud stake wasimperilled bytheabrupt in 1963. theroyal an agreement prime minister signed with theSoviet Unionwhich wasto make the Afghanarmyentirely dependent on its northern neighbour forarms.for example. See. who assumedthe premiership monarch. thelack.rather thanKabul. in Afghanistan'. training. of high-2.' Throughoutthis article it will be argued that the Soviet stake in A country Afghanistan is more than merely geopolitical. 269. Daoud reversed the in postwartrend towardscapitalistic-albeit monopolistic-development Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a poorstaging ground for modern war.16 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ofitsCommunist supporters to levelswhichundermine thelegitimacy ofthe regime.and theequally Soviet in a ofproving significant ideological advantage development capabilities very poorcountry. p. andembarked thenation on a series ofambitious. Stalinistic fiveUnionnotonly year plans. Hurewitz. in developing Afghanistan.-Dec. materiel is poor-halfoftheyoungmendrafted are turned ofthearmy away becauseofphysical disabilities. butalso an ideological commitment to making Afghanistan's development work. often little better thangoatpaths. Relations. Ousting bya the Dimension (London:PallMall for TheMilitarv Middle EastPolitics: 1. Councilon Foreign Nov. Can theKhalqisask theAfghans to accepta socialrevolution and at thesametime ask them to giveup SherShah's legacy offierce independence? Ifthatis a choiceto be madein Moscow. in hisquestfor 195 3. the Russians aim to create both a modern anda modern Ifthey infrastructure army.

statesman distinguished timed.' beenbudgeted having plan. ostensibly forthe foreignSovietand American expenditures-on The forthe basic outlays. LouisDupree.86.4Both lookedto case. mandate to return of a President fromhis royal cousin Zaher Shah and declaredhimself of the new supporters Among the enthusiastic RepublicanAfghanistan.000 annually-under were Khalq and Parcham. p.233 on Mon. to acknowledge April 1978 coup. 1978. between who understood therelationship who toldtheAmerican a quiteclairvoyant minister Daoud's coup. 5.86.they century's Five Theirthird bothsuper-powers. Government AUFS Reports. PartII. to40 percentbelowtheprevious down theplan'sexpenditures Unionbrought at 200 percentaboveit. years mistake offive their remembering evenat thetimeof thetwoevents.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 17 took technocrats a cliqueofAmerican-educated sleight ofhand. Halliday usesundisclosed German sources.cit.5 movecouldnothavebeenbetter ofAfghanistan their control taking look madehis premiership under Daoud's presidency Russianbenevolence 3. op. Meanwhile. 1966. This content downloaded from 78. andstyle thanbysubstantive issues.Divided more by in any thetwoparties lacked. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Mohammed Hashim his 'shock'. 14. twoleftist parties. 'I giveMohammad soon after withhim'. was thedeanoftheWestward-looking Maiwandwal for did have a schedule IftheSoviets oftheliberals. to juggleSovietand American begancautiously GreatGame. after withthe to secureaid. dead in his jail cell. Ministry ofPlanning. 22. Five YearPlan.March18. Nevertheless. thatDaoud's coup was a Communist That earlypresumption. Daoud expressed Maiwandwal.together posture ofthisnon-alignment The failure plan.4. to gainmoreaid from in order influence Year Plan (1963-68) relied heavily-to the tune of 30 per cent of financing. 25. the significant of thisshared and Daoud availedhimself however. but in reality exchange component of withthesincerity either ofthesuper-powers to impress act failed juggling andtheSoviet States Aid cutbacks byboththeUnited theAfghans' allegiance. for ofplanning discussion failure during theliberal regime.Financial Times. 4. byDaoud. 'le prince takeover-with takeover. Moscow forinspiration. thatled observers an alliance ofconvenience 'Moscow connection' to develop a Communist constituted to conclude that the Republicanrevolution rouge'.. in the materialised WhentheCommunist threat actually to be wrong. p. Afghanistan's signed likewisevisiblein the early days of the new regime. were Daoud's producedby the emasculated economic stagnation a decadein retirement Daoud seizedpower After to power. Le Mondesolemnly calling Daoud. ambassador. proved the fact. decideto dispense before theCommunists Daoud's putsch. personality mass support to contendforpower. was found andthemost technocrats. the deposed Prime Minister. of the plan. Elliotin 1973. 1969.Kabul. who had been schooledin the Soviet werethe juniorarmyofficers regime the 1953 agreement Union-at the rateof about 1. See also. p. constitutional of the nineteenth In a mannerreminiscent charge of the government.'TowardsRepresentative in Afghanistan'.including six years Daoud six years. observerswere reluctant there weresome earlier. Haliday.

with theSoviets financing two-thirds of that. 67. Minister.5theRussians on overseventy projects.According 2 billioncubic to the agreement. where couldSoviet to be effective? thatindustry to the Sovietdoctrine comes first. (Leiden: Development This content downloaded from 78. metres ofgas wereto be exported to theSovietUnioneach yearafter 1976. Ahmad Shalizi. venture and the optimistically betweenSovietMitroprom named Afghan Oil Company.forexample.6 had its catch-as eventhe Afghans Yet each oftheprojects learned that there is no such thing as a free lunch.8 was to be a show-case-amodelofSoviet-style Afghanistan in thepoorest development region ofAsia. Profits werecredited directly into the servicing of Afghanistan's debtto the Soviet burgeoning Union. 90 percentofthepeopleliving subsistence this on heavy was quixotic.The Afghan Brill.86. The Sovietirrigation projectswere tied to fruit-export This agreements. an exclusively typically London affair. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . to saythe economy. and-the jewelofthewhole complex-a natural gasindustry andtheAfghans hadagreed By 197. Further Soviet penetration of the Afghaneconomyoccurred in more traditional areas.An important 10 percentofthecountry's werethus export earnings tiedintotheSoviet system.1974-75.The road.thissilver lining the worldpriceof naturalgas had soared.bought choseto sellit. National wascapitalised at 62 5 million rubles. The Afghans didnot pricetheIranian National Oil Company havethekind ofclouttheShahanshah enjoyed.1974). Adhering in theMiddleEastthat Afghanistan joined must those countries import food to feedthemselves. The Jaraduq a joint NaturalGas Project. p. Jelalabad province.irrigation for nitric fertilizer stations. See MaxwellFry. emphasis industry 6. neededboostto Afghan export earnings was souredsomewhat by Russia's as 'lowest classification ofall Afghan was donein the produce quality': sorting SovietUnion by Sovietsorters.18 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS likefamine.86. who had similar thatgas at whatever agreements withIran.7 in Afghanistan But thekeysourceofSovietcontrol of layin thestructure theeconomy. had a cloud:thepriceofgas was fixed in 1975 and Again.besides Sovietbattle tanks. In rapid succession theRussians offered Afghanistan hydroelectric a newroad. with former Interior 7.233 on Mon. waspartially diverted toLeningrad ithadto compete where with theSoviet Union'sowndomestic Karakol there industry. linked Kabul a capacity with vehicles: there with theSoviet for 80-ton wereno such border. If theRussians couldnot helpto a country develop and historical on theirown borders withstrong cultural affinities to successful socialist Central aid be shown Asia. vehicles or in theSovietUnion. factories. Basedon discussions to Economic Constraints Money Financeand the Critical Economy: 8. inMazar-i-Sharif. Withonly4 per centof the arableland givenover to the in a largely andwith production ofcashcrops. See KabulTimes.The Afghan Karakolwool market. in Afghanistan.The remained therelong after Soviets. UnderSovietpressure Daoud nationalised themajorindustrial ventures and turned these into unwieldy lynchpins for massive industrialisation.

In order todevelop agricultural oftherich farms and intensive tractorisation a few.86. ideologues'out to the people'.PartI. 10. foraid wellas one oftheworld'spoorer qualified states.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 19 concentrated on produce thegovernment least. from theproliferating numbers andtheOPEC Special Fund. and his calls foran Iran-Afghan-Pakistan speculate pledgeturnedout to be more smokethan fire. inBaluchistan'. As with other reached ofthetotal aspects Afghanistan.anxiousto secureits eastern 2 billion in aid.233 on Mon. 3. leftists declining American aid as a counter-weight Abroad. more Turgenev's day. Daoud nowhada free importantly. reassessment ofSoviet policy on Sovietaid. in 1975 Daoud beganto Concerned overhis dependence Cabinets.cit. first concernin the Kremlin.theIslamic Bankfor Development. a halfbilliondollarsforhydroelectric GrantsfromSaudi Arabia included whiletheUnited ArabEmirates 8 5 million dollars for a sugar offered works. 11.86.and then It is hardto know theregion. KuwaitFund. border againstSovietinfluence. counter-moves throughout Communist-inspired how seriouslyconcernedthe Russians were over the Shah's aborted " diplomacy. bytheSoviet dollars by All theseventures costtheSovietUnionmoney-overa billion So signsin 1975 to makea go ofAfghanistan. The AfghanNarodnikiprovedno more in in radicalising successful the masses than theirRussian predecessors in the hostileprovinces while.9 They rusticated cohesion in thecapital. Afghanistan readily including the ofaid and lending institutions.. hand to move against whomhe purgedin late 1975. of what the Sovietslike to call capitalist is a striking agrobusiness-tocall a spade a spade-on the countryside thestate as the inneighbouring Iran.only inthiscasewith repetition ofevents financed Union.Some observers thatthe Shah's moves provoked. " Iran proved to wereequipped The aid from to be morethantheIranians After and morethantheAfghans twoyears. op. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .surpassing in pledged offered theSoviets contributions dollars totheAfghan SevenYear Plan(1976-85). mechanised co-operative victims peasants andnomads found themselves Jelalabad region. p. as totheSoviets byturning totheMiddleEastoilstates. couldhave absorbed. Dupree. March1979. Policy. 1978-but itwas determined brought abouta thatKabul was againtempted to playbothsidesofthefence toward Daoud's regime. 'Nightmare Foreign This content downloaded from 78. himwidespread theRussians vis-a-vis Daoud's newposture support brought 9. onlya fraction pledged his parleys withBhuttoand of the Shah's Drang noch Osten-including union-the aid economic Daoud. capitalist. policies thatcharacterised thelastroyal resuscitate thefence-sitting alliesin On thedomestic loosefrom his erstwhile front Daoud shookhimself youthful the leftist Parchamand Khalq parties by sending the enthusiastic. they losttheir party in his army. transfer. factory. SeligHarrison. 1976. WashingtonPost. The displaced The impinging of exploitation.May6. Iran. Daoud sought to replace As a Muslimcountry.

Amin is But Hafizollah a goodspeaker.for This content downloaded from 78. evenviolently. secure Whilestreet-fighting went on in government scarcely and East television forBulgarian Kabul. intodiplomatic The purge andfinal in its moderates. together the SovietUnion to exploit natural visit from gas. know. forthe leftists. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .via These movesweretoo palpable a reversal Islamabad.he is a weak. as well as conservative Muslimclergy. theSoviets wereat thesereversals How disturbed ofpolicy bytheir protege is impossible to Daoud. gave the Khalq and the Parchamthe choiceof liquidation orrevolution. in itsowncapital.kindly sortofman.'I used to have lunch ideological colouring withTarakiand Aminevery dayfortwoyears. Daoud repaired strained relations with and madea widely MuslimPakistan. morefar-reaching sympathetic intent thanthatof 1975.86. thatit to assurethenewgovernment shortly presumably is possible to run a small countryentirely on Soviet aid for years. The Khalq andParcham.12 flooded The Khalqi regime Observers whohadbeenquickto call Daoud's regime in 1973 Communist werenowwilling to givethenewgovernment thebenefit Said a ofthedoubt.86.' very sharp. and how muchparttheyplayedin his overthrow.Taraki. which resulted andarmy in thecapital. 'I think former in the level of rhetoric they're just raising order to be heard abovetherhetoric Daoud used'. cemented their leadership differences in a brutal andjoinedin stepping up activity against theregime. An Afghan. Slipping intoa siegementality.20 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS from moderates. opposed visible Soviet presence Consciousof thisreligious support. Daoud authorised theassassination of exileeven sevenprominent leftist whilesending personalities. USAID official. theincreasingly in thecountry. That's whytheymadehimpresident.But the scale on whichtheyhave backedDaoud's leftist successors with volumes. alumnus. The Western Presspointed out the American connections of boththe new President. See. He's after thepower. who had strongly. and other Warsaw from Poland'sHenryk Congratulatory telegrams Jablonski Pactheadsofstate. publicised journey to SaudiArabia. of1978. Nur Mohammad Taraki-a former translator at the Americanembassy-and the Prime a Columbia Minister. crackdown on students officers Pay-rises for thearmy and subsidised pricesfor the civil servants-which cost the government a year-didnotwinDaoud broad 3 billion rupees support infaceof20 percent inflation. in. Hafizollah Amin. the government begancontracting withan additional 22 million Germanprinting dollars equipment. andMay 1978. intheKabulTimesduring articles various April example. slowly their recovering from 1975 setback. regrouped and recovered from their forced rustication. now livingin exile. cautioned againstattaching a strong to either of the Afghan leaders. FidelCastropaid a brief after therevolution.233 on Mon. 12. Comecon countries speaks Immediately twenty-five agreements an unusualburst weresigned ofdiplomacy on thepart ofa bythenewregime.

according planin consolidating power their affiliation withMoscow. regime the 'scientific whether socialism' of Marx was fullyunderstood by the in the Marxist thatmatter. for bymany fell victim to thenew Third neither norprivate capital World: private property Taraki's familiar Yet in a manner to other Communist dictatorships regime. by the unexpected areas successive to assumedirection oftherural attempts bythenew regime in in remote Nuristan province and afterwards provoked localresistance. Press. institutionalised their relationship Tarakiand Aminwereforced intothehandsoftheRussians Others holdthat violenceof the opposition to whether wagedlargely One maywell doubt was Communist or not soon becameacademic. 'all progressives' and Whether invited sincerely or not. regime began to narrowits base of power and grasp for centralised. labelfortwogoodreasons.In this view. severalpro-Western and misgivings withthe changeof regimes about the possibleCommunist in Kabul. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . theregime a posture showa logicoftheir own. Secondly. in orderto theregime thegrowth secure ofrural insurgency. sympathetic to theirrivals. Taraki's in theWestern The argument. first PaktiaandHerat. In thefirst Marxist-Leninist place.theAmerican proved unwilling to invokethe automatic Department of Statehad hitherto aid to Communist clause in the foreign assistanceact (which prohibits While the UnitedStates Communist. orientation of the new government began to surface the Hafizollah Amin.both that members oftheKhalq seized power.thenew government 'all victims toparticipate inthecountry's development.86. the15 million dollar labelwouldhavefurther thefundamentalist Marxist-Leninist alienated Afghan For whoequatethematerial ofcommunism withatheism. (3) consolidated power the July1978 (4) executed theirideological commitment to Communism.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 21 It is hardtoknow themotives andgoalsofthenewregime at themoment it TarakiandAmin. self-proclaimed regimes Khalqis-or.theKhalq proclaiming leaders(1) joined with the Parchamin a tacticalalliance. bureaucratic overthemasses. militarily against the mayhave beenbefore comingto power. clergy. Tarakiand thuspreserved whatever leverage diplomatic the Aminsalvaged American aid programme.At first assumed ofconciliation. However.theKhalqi regime hue common theMuslimMiddleEast to be acceptable to enough throughout themenofreligion.and (5) purgeoftheParchamand armyofficers withMoscow in thelastmonths of 1978.According to thisview.233 on Mon. rejected Afghanistan's well-spoken PrimeMinister. Whatever Khalq aspirations in thewakeofthecoup.86.and thegrowth courseofevents ofSovietinfluence. countries) by callingTaraki's regime it enjoyed in Kabul. Somesuggest and their moved toa prearranged Party. control This content downloaded from 78.(2) overthrew inKabulwhiledisguising theextent of Daoud's regime.Thus Tarakiwas forced to seekSoviet backing. culminating in the defence pactof December1978 withthe SovietUnion. itself proclaimed socialist-a political then. ofDaoud's repression' in prison opponents of Daoud remained Nevertheless. philosophy theirbenefit.

the dynasty and itslegacyofrurallegitimacy. began whiletheKabul press 'comrade'.The mutual ofthe association tempered bythehistorical therural masses was traditionally 1 dynasty with the local notables-fromwhich class it had emerged. plansfor HolyKoran'. ofthis 13.Instead themin the mostpalpable ways. to thesensibilities ofthenotables. their khansand clerics. donenothing yet (Paris. in confronting therealism oftheKhalqigovernment One can onlyquestion The lack of realism the heremaystemfrom sentiment so crudely. MEED. This content downloaded from 78. tribal massesfrom 'oppressive' byresentful werereported to havebeenkilled few ideologues ofthese youthful tribesmen. The tribal. As to thegovernment's Ali Keshtmand. Recognising summer of 1978 had become throughout the opposition to the of the local notables necessity of at least neutralising in invited tribal khansand village chiefs to meetings thegovernment regime. outward as middlemen notables. power whichbythe to theruralopposition The Khalqi government didrespond the endemic theEast. trying In deference party had 'goneCommunist'. calling one another members stopped a 'recitation from the to report eventas havingincluded every government socialandeconomic reforms.86. and a chauvinistic to theirtraditional suspicion. p. 4 butputthrough what wasplanned'. elitehavelittle up 90 per. theKhalqi regime Extirpating ofthe'toiling masses'so dear theconfidence needed a wayofwinning to find ideals. nearly to Islam. and their them runfrom thedisdain attitudes toward contact with condescension oftheyoung by the oldereliteto thefashionable entertained with fear. and oftribal strongholds provinces. Bestdiscussion Afghanistan 14. June 30. inMikeBarry. proud.In their view.22 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS facingthe new regimewas to assertits problems One of the greatest that make rural districts in theisolated ofthepeople legitimacy overthemasses Members ofthegoverning ofthepopulation. schoolteacher soldier.1974).who function ill-will ofthegoverning eliteand between Kabul and thepeople.In to their theythreatened imprisoned power they immediately on seizing Nuristan. historical gulfbetween to ruling cliqueseeking Soviet-styled thealienation ofan increasingly reflects maintain through force.intensely attachment way of life. presence The government kafir. andtaxcollector familiar Tsarist is onlyan from Russia. remote himwitha Kabuli thepopular local notable-andreplaced sub-governor-a ofthe theritual performance radical interfered with Thisyoung party member. rural people reciprocate leftists. emblem Real authority is sharedwiththe local ofKabul's control. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .233 on Mon.cent thepeople.theKabulieliteis very as attachment expressed a troika of in the countryside.6. popular but it also the ruling and the ruledof Afghanistan. unbelieving. quitea Subsequently. for example. to Islam. that'We have Sultan gaveassurances thePlanning Minister. 1978. in their theNuristanis fears Muslimfasting thatthenew confirming month. tribalchiefsand villageheadmen.86. that Kabul theprovincial increasingly vocalfears to quiettheir capitals.In theeastern regime was hostile andsoldiers the to 'liberate' sentteachers thegovernment religious sentiment.

what willthefarmers dofor credit thelocalmoney-lending hasbeen nowthat system in the crushed? Dislocations causedbylanddisputes and claimsadjustments wake of reform are to be handledby a 'Land Arbitration Board' in every provincial sub-capital.Ruralcredit. Cabinet with against rivals within Parcham leftist front. muchto thefrustration oftheyoung leftists.Land reform in July1978.Anxiouslestrapidsocial reforms shouldalienate theirpower-base of tribesmen.Ruralmoney obligations contracted have lenders been jailed. their In July. Amin. Subsequent events were toprove otherwise. Aug.July 15. religious and figures landowners. Babrak Karmaland the DefenceMinister. twowell-known pro-Soviet personalities. We maywellwonder whatis thereality behind all this. Kabul). abouthowhappy they The zeal ofthegovernment's seemsat best action on behalf ofthepeasants 15.233 on Mon. Ifcarried to completion thesereforms wouldrevolutionise Afghan society. of for theDeputyPrimeMinister. 1978. Now speedis the order ofthe day. Anis(Persian andPushtu. led observers to drift speculatethat the Khalqi's regimewould rapidly away fromSoviet influence. June1978. Kabul Times.urgesrapid social at whatever reforms cost. therealism in Daoud's support inherent programme ofcautious reforms. is usurious becauseit reflects thescarcity in ofcapital the country. GeneralAbdul Qadir. 26.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 23 At the same timeas Taraki and Amin backedofffrom theirheadlong the two Khalq leadersmoveddecisively collisionwithpopularsentiment. any personnel. Withoutany alternative source of credit(the Agricultural Development Bankstill a figment being largely ofKabul's imagination). as in many poorer countries. The activities of the boardsin the threeprovinces wheretheyhave been established-all nearbigtowns-seemto be limited to collecting testimonies from recently landed peasants arewith therevolution. theadministrative a massive without infrastructure to control transfer ofland. promulgated cancels all debts. thepre-revolutionary governments had always movedslowly on basicreforms.on theother hand. generation ofreformers had beendaunted by the difficulties confronting them. Thereare overa hundred in the of thesesub-capitals and cadastral trained country-without any without records.86. members affiliations werefirst posted abroad to diplomatic posts. This content downloaded from 78. Showtrials The demotion werearranged those Parchamis slowto leavethecountry. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . arenewinconception. thenfired. Noneofthereforms having beendrafted under previous and republican But theearlier royalist ministers.WiththepurgeofKarmaland also Keshtmandwhose sanguinereassurances had about the direction of the government proved useful in thegovernment earlier in thesummer-theKhalqi regime toembark prepared on an ambitious scheme ofreforms.returns all mortgages and freesall sharecroppers from financial in thelastdecade.whilenewspapers have announced thatlargelandowners have given'gifts' ofthousands of jeribsoflandtotherevolution.86. Karmalhad advocated a gradualist reform ofthecountry-for all his vocal he had recognised fortheRussians. Proclamation VI.

Soviet UnionandIndiahavepledged VI maybe a formula for Proclamation in theMiddleEast.Powerful landowners If the pattern. notable speakers area. according to a time-honoured.The to therestive itsconciliatory gestures from mayhavegained buteven susceptible to rhetoric. aimedto 'anti-Islamic' or 'trulyIslamic'. and the countryside extendits bureaucratic control over the countryside. 16.000 tons.In a theNuristanis threw backthegovernment. whohadrecently comefrom therebel This content downloaded from 78. remains Ifthey do not. Detailsbasedon conference at Asia Society (New York)chaired byDr Chris Brunner. Dr Richard Strand. WhiletheKabulpress and Kabul-that is. The of500.233 on Mon. 17. Dawn (Karachi). men in the district-that to equip all military-age armsand ammunition is.this anylandreform disaster.the Khalqi regime 'progressive'.thelandreform farmers? theformation ofrural In another thegovernment announced utopian move. 1978. localsto attack and take on a regiment of regular armytroopssentto punishthem. Destroying shortages a year plantings thisyearandthreatens hence.Kabul openedits first The waiting under impatient. for seedhas curtailed in 1980. successive provocations rescuetheir from jail thesub-provincial old governor capital. days Daoud hadmadethem theKhalqiregime undermined whatever legitimacy rapidly Theseactivities rural areas. only board for thethousands establish a water cadres regime with itslackoftrained theagricultural landofthemillions thatnourish ofsmall ofseasonalrivulets a deadletter.86. landis 'dirtcheap' and accessto water mountainous of and tribalchiefsregulate the distribution wealth.000 tonsofwheat predict a short-fall Already observers as '6 As ill-conceived only100. Nangrahar thesummer of1978 led the through In Nuristan. though takeover ofCentral didjust thatin their The Bolsheviks Can the the and the had Oxus Afghan Jaxartes. " therevolt became official. were KhalilNuristani. enough capturing surprise upset. 5. On the otherhand. in hailed thesuccessofthelandreforms aimedto resist. the major urban areas-no official Herat. fourmonths co-operatives plans.86. irrigated waters thekhansand thewaterlords-as meansto stepin and supplant government in thecountryside. boards water arecalled-they wouldhaveto establish they they Asia. highly as being Afghans maybe characterised in Afghanistan actionsspeak louder than words. after therevolution. to control tworivers. strikesagainst rural insurgents andKonar. countries developing with government-salaried co-operatives their before implementing have studied theproblems of co-operatives might in Augustof 1978. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . of much significance.24 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS rely ofrural credit on whichsmallfarmers thesystem misplaced. Dec. In this arid. Whileother staff. tenandseventy-and agedbetween in Julyand Nuristan Planes bombed Kabul tookthe uprising seriously.Whether'communist'.reports reportage and ofKabul airofparty workers surface ofmassacres by tribesmen telling in the eastern provincesof Nuristan. ifself-serving. necessarily Nor is the land reform is thesourceof country. Jelalabad beganto came from the ruralareas.

overtheKabulisby andcelebrated this stalemate that leadintotheir provinces. Angola and country inhaving a mutual defence Moscow. 'son ofa poorshepherd' a national whytheself-proclaimed shrine (although a substantial farmstead is lessthan clear). or holywar.86.making the obligatory anniversary to Lenin's tomb and givinga singularspeech over Afghan pilgrimage Sovietaid to Afghanistan. themselves independent. Whetherplanned. should tobe from prove the During Taraki's visitto Moscow. irregulars also committed government The werebeaten.8 The first and the SovietUnion had signeda defence Afghanistan to seek the level of opposition that ofan epidemic.Nov.The tribes a sullen from that hadtraditionally maintained independence declared Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. He wenton to praiserelations on December 5. Demonstrations schoolsand factories barracks. declaring its ties regime consolidate of 1978 saw theAfghan The lasttwomonths with Moscow. whiletheequivalent the againstthe Nuristanis. in 1968 amidliberal abolished corveelabourby the peasants took andcivilservants students. one could object'.233 on Mon. placein theprovincial was designated Taraki'sbirthplace werecloseddownto encourage attendance. soldiers peasants. wasnowapproaching theeastern provinces throughout The counter-revolution had in resisting authority government The success of the Nuristanis a general in all theperipheral provinces themoodtoward uprising encouraged Kabul. he took partin commemorating of the Great October Revolution. back in 1953. likedto theNuristanis once they they coulddo whatthey them. Stirring up ancienttribalemnities rivaltribesmen promising to thefight. ragedfrommid-summer Fighting andhigh passes defiles The Nuristanis toholdthenarrow managed operations.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 25 therebel moved in to isolate ofa division August1978. pactwith Ethiopia to the regime This pact came just in time. aid. preparing pact.86. capitals. Although withthe SovietUnion. province. and ministries. Anis. forvoluntary labourin road construction (King Zaher Shah had organised acclamation). that his listenersfor the announcement. sessionwith the Politburo. since domestically inevitable: the coursetheypursued such a consolidation toMoscow. opposite in thefirst theKhalqiregime months of1979. now joined Cuba.against a 'Jihad'. 25. The chiefs themselves against 18.or whetherinducedby the revoltin withthoseoftheKhalqs made ofSovietattitudes thecongruence Nuristan. them buttomovecloser no option hadleft coming topower to Moscow to meetin joint Cabinettravelled the Afghan In November in the countryside peasantswere Meanwhile. twenty years ofinconclusive Defending television. of the Sarhadd. evenproclaimed government progressive ended when snowfall until mid-winter. 1978. ofworkers. This content downloaded from 78. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . unconditional Taraki had this to say: 'The Soviet Union extended that no to thetoilers theaidwasso beneficial somewerenotpleased.

assault.the official sect of the countryShia also exist. withZia Khan 21. independent from Afghanistan.122.26 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS theMohmand. tribal distrusted people. Up to the present.andpointed outthe largenumbers ofSovietmilitary advisers in the base at Jelalabad. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Afridi.April19.86. The fragile mosaicof social more co-ordinated in Afghanistan The rebel bands are groups underscores thissegmenting effect. Nevertheless. 20. by linguistic and cultural isolatedby theirmountains. in The tribal jirga calledfora direct assaulton Kabul. Theyarethusdoubly bytheKhalqiregime. counterparts. The unity oftherebels basednearthePakistani border hangsprecariously a maintain constant on the efforts of traditional to go-betweens dialogue betweenthe suspicious. 1979.thepirscalledfor 2u thesupport backed themselves up with oftheSarhaddi tribesmen. andevenapolitical technocrats anxious tooverthrow the A notable in thetribes Khalqiregime.long-time forgotten and manyofthepresent theformer DurraniPathans. Dawn. like the Hazaras. metin ajirga ofthelargest tribes."' Prudent counsels thejirga reminded the chiefs underthe of the experience of the Nuristanis In the mountains. against levies. are Sunni Muslims. republicans. arehighly regarded bythe Thepirs. Closely bykintiesandpolitical alliance. fleeing whatis widely viewed as a bloody purge withtheancienregime influential ofAfghanistan's connected clergy. jealous leadersof the revolt. therefore. local governor issuedrifles to his retainers and declared war on the distant himself He has not. andYusofzai. rivalsof the thatthe Khalqis are all GhilzaiPathans.86. liketheNuristanis.representing dissidents ofall colours: royalists. had terroristic air-strikes. article by Robert Trumbtill based on interview Nassry. Anis. guerrilla warfare ofvarying intensity hasbeentherule.233 on Mon. ' These chiefs (council) to co-ordinate their activities. highranking army officers. likethe identity. presence is thatofAfghanistan's most distinguished religious leaders. Manyregions ofthecountry havesettled downintoa Hobbesian 'stateof wherea nature'. courtesy New York Post.1979.May 12. just a few kilometres down the road. like the tribesmen. orsaints. New York Times. 1979.Apri. werejoinedbyrefugees from Kabul. noted thedefence agreement between Kabul andMoscow. despiteroutine designation of such-and-such a day as 'D-Day'. I interviewed Nassry as wellas SaidAhmadGailani. This content downloaded from 78.liketherugged Hazarajatin thecentre of theHindukush. including royalfamily rebel clans. like his Nuristani declared government. Waziri. effects.Recentreports of a unification of severalfactions into a NationalFront(ANLF) may be more 19. orbybitter memories ofpolitical rivalries. these pirs. such bombing government's Others tribal massed for itwouldbe devastating. It shouldnot be PathankhansofPakistan's North-West Frontier Province.Responding although to Taraki's proclamation of a Jibad againstthe 'Made-in-London Muslims' (a reference to the cosmopolitan a Jibadagainst Tarakiand education ofmany ofthese pirs). the behaviour of theselocal CivilWarthanofthe rebels is more reminiscent ofthewarlords oftheChinese IslamicRevolution of Iran.

topursue sametime. Mujadidi replied to theaffront. Nomad smuggling -servesthat market. Dawn. Impact International. The factthat official AfghanPakistani trade is conducted under hascreated restrictive currency agreements a black market forall sortsof consumer goods soughtin both countries. feelingthe squeeze of Islamabad's pressure tostopguerrilla activity in therefugee areas.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 27 ifthefollowing apparent than real. has government smuggling flourished. is smuggling. the in theNorth-West number ofrefugees Frontier Province has swelled to over Whiletherebelgroups in Afghanistan and call for struggle fora toe-hold immediate assaulton Kabul. 1979. yetone so optimistic a theirspokesmen It is true that the rebels muster cannot direct suggest. Hizb-i-Islami movement. A thirdspokesman of the ANLF said of Engineer Gulbedin Hikmatyar's. generally in normal the for havefallen times. We knowwhat he is'. Jamiat-i-Islami said of the ANLF's leader.86. Indirect confirmation of thenumber ofairattacks launched byKabulis given byPakistan's complaints thatnearlya hundred overflights into Pakistani in airspacehave resulted Pakistani villagesbeingbombed.havefought to gain bases within Kabul has responded tenaciously Afghan territory.buttheson is not up to hisstuff'. hand. Except halfthe armyis tieddown-the fighting unitsin the capital-where nearly a is questionable.besidesherding. The mainbusiness of the tribes. 22 Despitethefragility ofthecoalition oftheseveral rebelgroups.a long-run perspective on their campaign offers a prospect neither so grim as they nor as presently face.000. 'Who is thisGailani?He is a nobody. 38. Since the outbreak of fighting. The tribesmen themeans thewar. alongwith equipment. 'thatTajik has no morechanceofruling Afghanistan thana Negrohas ofbecoming American President' .therefore.233 on Mon. 300. This content downloaded from 78. Wholeunits havereportedly their for elitesecurity defected. Thereis evidence. interview 22.The Khalqis'conscript staying power has beenwracked army bymutinies sincethe fighting started. Fleeingthe bombing in Afghanistan. dismally. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .86.reachinga greatervolume as control wanes. The Pakistani-based rebels. a longwarofattrition their sidesteps opponents' superior fire-power.1979. customs ofthegovernment's revenues one half receipts. Sibghatullah Mujadidi. 23.July 6. p. is anyindication.'his father was a great man. assaulton the capital. longwarofattrition might be acceptable to therebels. by launching air-strikes against therebels usingnapalm. determination ofthetroops that however. with Burhan June 22.23 The tribalrebelshave strongdisincentives to end the conflict on the uddin Rabbani ofJamiat-i-Islami. anecdote A partisan ofthe Gailani-led IslamicPartyof Pakistan. giventhe sheerfire-power of the government troops armed with theheaviest On theother model Soviet gun-boat helicopters.At the have. fighting in the North-West Frontier Provincehas becomemore and more in earnest throughout 1979. making an issueoftherelative ofthetwosides. undermining Khalqis' capacity prolonged conflict.

thenomads for their economic Fighting in theJihadto date performance be more tenaciousthan theirlacklustre that regimes ofresistance against is a significant history Behind them suggests. Theyhavebeenthepolitical loreand tradition. So farthere formarketing theresponsibility having free market.One in 1747 toDaoud's lasttenure as president. industry thepastoral plansfor'rationalising' in Heratandsetup a a livestock Bankithas opened slaughterhouse theWorld provinces.from muscle ofevery regime. in response to Daoud's Pakhtunistan to thetribes borders ended Daoud's thecoupd'etatwhich andineffect provoked rebelled tribesmen inpower. accounts for part wherethe thebestarmed-in a country are therichest. Afghangovernment-from that these Add to thisthefact a substantial ofthepopulation. it. monarchy a difficult life. years. thebestorganised. from many ofwhomarerefugees in thenextfive The nomads. thenomads oftheir The concept oftheplanis to deprive takers. andthe arsenal-andthemost acute. under theplanwas conceived (Although as thegovernment The planenvisages under thenewgovernment.233 on Mon. bythe team-suppressed to thebestguessoftheSUNY demographic reduced this nomadicgroup 17 millionto 11 million. havebeenfew. Wazirichief it thisway: 'We livein themountains. nomads of capable in the1930s. in a socialist is notpossible pastoralism Following nicheofmostofAfghanistan. expressed with Khan. impose trade with meat-hungry cut off the lucrativesmuggling administration and governmental service taxes.86. at a fixed thesolebuyer. a logicthat tribal goesbeyond thefirst unified orelsetheAchilles heel. and to cancel its reforms by attacking the government the tribesforced In 1963 when Pakistanclosed its the armybase in Jelalabad.We beattheBritish for Abdurrahman Butwe conquered Nuristan This content downloaded from 78.imposemilitary government Free terms. price. settlethemon the government's on tribal life. ecological to themarginal represents the hopesto settle leadin abolishing theKhalqiregime theSoviet pastoralism. groupforthe nomadsof neighbouring fieldserviceveterinary itsimplementation Daoud's regime. ofthegovernment's understanding theimplications are boundto and socialexistence.28 AFFAIRS INTERNATIONAL has theKhalqiregime governments. destroying thestranded policy.Likemost with Together ofAfghanistan. ifany.86. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . first decade betweentwo and three The tribesof the Sarhaddnumbersomewhere is Iftheinflated number ofthe'official' population Afghan million pastoralists. Iran. Amani issues. politically adult maleis a walking average can be well and itsSovietbackers thegovernment facing scale oftheproblem from ofAfghanistan tribes havebeenthekingmakers The Sarhadd appreciated. when in theJelalabad Theirfathers participated reformers.) has begun withthegovernment ofthenomads'livestock. When the reformist them on bread-and-butter threatened service on the military in the1920s tried taxesand regular to impose regime the downon Kabul and ousted thegrandfathers ofthesemenswooped tribes. MiddleEastern Khalqis'terns. revolt of 1949.and eventually it an adaptation useful however state. Afghan And they know it. arefully Asianpastoralists ofCentral Stalin's genocide mood.

In bothcasesthe and theinevitable Russians. Likewise provinces inKhartoum overtwenty The fact both that against thegovernment for years. and the industrial in this Kondoz corridor. planning policies willhelpsolidify adjacent to theregime's holdon this region.25 in theMiddle The fact is thattheexperience oftribal rebellions elsewhere theycan be. thenewregime has recognised common Turkicpopulation-as language ofthehitherto culturally repressed fromthe Soviet the official language. Ofcourse.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 29 in ourhand. a more endedwith capitulation of those conflicts by the rebelsdisguises andKhartoum BothBaghdad sudden about-faces significant point. theKurdsmanaged to holdoutfor fifteen Soviet Baghdad government despite the leftist Baghdadis' considerable in theSudan theEquatorial keptup a civilwar backing.233 on Mon. accepted helped bring aboutthecompromise. Basedon discussion with EdenNaby(Harvard). identified by manyKurds as a personal power-play on the partof Molla Sudanwerelaid at Barzani.86. For we are the true theKhalqi Facedwith a rebellion ofa quarter ofthepopulation.plusa generous policy. pro-Moscow cliquesdeposed from power andconciliatory regimes installed in their places.24 This content downloaded from 78. havethe dominant nordidthey partofthepopulation engaged was in their The Kurdish insurrection ideological support ofreligion struggle. Letter possession. which makes the Sovietsboth in Kabul. comprising an additional 434.and sticks BacchaSaqao for we made him get rid of Hashem Khan.withthe hard-liner. experienced in the courseof the wars.We overthrew and stones theKing. Trouble forthewiderregion from thestart. seeing which waythewind was blowing. when The civilwarin Afghanistan developed a wider aspect airstrikes inside the theNuristani from insurgents sought refuge government intheauthor's 24. Significantly.U-ndoubtedly. in theconflict.000. moreamenable to Soviet-style thantherestofthecountry. 25. But theterritory theSoviet border should hardly be a problem for thegovernment. an 800is notKurdistan or SouthSudan. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .000 together regime cando is holdthefort-Kabul. with itspopulation with' the othermajor urbancentres. In East suggests how tenacious and unamenable to settlement years against the Iraq. are in the mojahedin's Neither favour. is no suchambiguity abouttheissuesatstake. Kandahar.for example. Turki-the latter areaalongtheSoviet border.It shares Afghanistan mile-long borderwith the Soviet Union. his uncle. Afghans'.Herat. their friends concerned aboutand quitecapableofaiding extremely andIraq or Sudanwhich But there are other differences between Afghanistan in Iraq or the Sudan was a crucial. seepageof prosperity and thefact north is ethnic thattheindustrial Union.The secessionist tendencies Mustafa ofSouthern there African Butin Afghanistan thedoorofimperialist plots against integrity. thebestthat of600.86.

it government in thetribal area.The tribes without regardforthe nicetiesof international Provincerule themselves. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . dependent adequate emergencymeasures taken at low-levelsof the Provincial in not givinggrounds forany Pakistanhas been scrupulous government.233 on Mon. Pakistan Sincetheborder pursue their political opens and therefugees ignores theactivities ofthetribes thatit is abetting oftheSoviet UnionandAfghanistan itself up to thecharges hasavoided A 'handsoff' Islamabad either extreme. with its complexpolicyconstraints. place.If. policy freedom to campsallowsthe rebelleadersdiscretionary vis-a-vis the refugee is ill-defined at best. counter-revolution. where in an 'imperialist' 'progressive Afghanistan'.crossed yearly bymillions border. humanitarian morethanthebareminimum Sovietallegations thatit provide assistance. muting problem tenuously within Pakistan swelledto the number of refugees As the uprising spread. the rebelsleavesthe refugees' otherhand.86. whom tosupport This content downloaded from 78.The border attheKhyber passis a single migrations.86.thislaissezfaire policytowards on local charity and on scarcely humanproblems up in the air. initsassertion On the can be selective ofjurisdiction overtherebels'activities. The dangerof are all factors.000 by the winter diplomatic problem forthe area.on the otherhand. But polarisation while has urgedthegovernment to do morefortherefugees. anditis in their posesIslamabad refugees in this limbo ofsovereignty presence ofthese Afghan Ifit tries territory. paved road.The domain thattherefugees diplomacy. which the cautiousmilitary inevitably clash with the tribes-something of General Zia-ul-Haqseeksto avoid.30 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS tookup residence with region.2 Pakistan'scautionis consistent Islamabad's departure from the foreign policy.and causinga tricky resources oftheborder Pakistani government. plotagainst armed Abdul-Ghaffar Khanis powerful. theparty ofCommunist-sympathising and thePakistani leftists havetaken rebelgroups clashesbetween theIslamic The on the Leftis onlypartof Pakistan'sworries. runsa merely nominal andtheAfghan city ofJelalabad Between Peshawar ofnomadson theannual theDurandline. kinsmen. The refugees Pakistani border. whichenterintothe Pakistanis' calculations. in theChitral traced thus theofficial ofpassport control. havepitched camp. imposing 75. itself to thePakistani sceneis political transmitting Afghanistan's polarisation The Communist ofPakistan theKhalqi openly supports another factor. Central theRussians'hugesteelmillproject Treaty Organisation. a considerable strainon the of 1978-79. ofPakistan can with in Muslim Students Association in New York-splitovertheissueof be observed in thedivision that has arisen in Afghanistan. Party has joined and echoesMoscowandKabul's accusations thatPakistan regime In Peshawar. Basedon discussions Pakistani officials off-record. Jamiat-i-Islami The attitudes oftheleft andright 26. Bisecting this ofIslamabad andKabuleveninthebestoftimes extend no further jurisdictions andPakistan's oftheSarhadd North-West Frontier thanthisroad. General Zia's newnon-aligned in Karachi. it must a ticklish to administer itsown nominal problem.

expressed official displeasure Afghanistan and theSoviet rolein it. having played an instrumental rolein bringing downAli Bhutto'sgovernment in 1977. outthat itscontinued oftheKhalqiregime point recognition has had no contact withany of the rebelgroupsin Officially. America is wary ofrelying on theshaky to let the dustsettleon a military government of GeneralZia.86. withPakistan's out in support coming regime. Bothcountries have. Rumours ofIranian Not so Afghanistan's to thewest. position Recently at thegrowing in American violence Saunders. and Washington protested sharply off 11 million aid toAfghanistan. in Washington aid.the UnitedStateshas intervention abutting the Soviet role in Afghanistan. CIA werethere'. in excess of the limits announced intention to developnuclearcapabilities theUnited States has beenboundbylaw to endall military allowed bytreaty. 1979. that America is engaged action possibility in covert in advance thatthe CIA had to inform seniorpolicymakernotedrecently 'Ifthe covert activities.AdolphDubbs.Harold vacant.complicity in the tragedy. further limiting ability Perhapsthe gravest constraint on Pakistan'sfreedom of action is the attitude of the UnitedStates. for America itsclosemilitary impossible relationship Pakistan in theAfghan the is unable tointervene decisively crisis. The mouthpiece ofmilitant Islamic sentiment in thisideologically Islamic country. to influence the region'sactors.86." neighbour support forthe counter-revolution flyhardand fastin the wake of talksbetween of theAyatollah and members of theAfghan Islamicgroups representatives This content downloaded from 78. The Jamiat-i-Islami is an important backer ofGeneral Zia's military government. Conflict has arisen policy circles between thoseconcerned withAmerican forantitieswithSouthAsia and thoseresponsible security will make it almost proliferation policies.both policy and legal constraints intrude. as wellas Soviet. Washington Pakistan. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .on February 14. its poweris growing.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 31 indirectly intriguing for military aid to theIslamicrebels. and it may step into the lead when GeneralZia's government steps out.233 on Mon.But the factof the law itself to resume with Pakistan. we would about Even if the UnitedStateswere interested in exerting on the influence Afghanproblem.therefore.Itsinsistence that thegovernment actin support ofthe in Afghanistan Islamicrebels couldturnintoa destabilising domestic issue. Suspecting official Afghan. Waryofbecoming involved in anything remotely resembling foreign in a country the SovietUnion.throughits old ally Pakistan. he concluded. and. promptly cooledWashington's previously correct relations withAfghanistan. UnitedStateslacksthe leverage necessary assumed a position ofnon-interference. Islamabad's tocopewith thecrisis. preferring solutionof Pakistan'sthree-decade searchfor politicalinstitutions before ofan existing On theother. Yet theDepartment ofStateis quickto is notinquestion. restrained itselfto criticising As to the a in support oftherebels. The ambassadorial shaved dollars ofplanned a former remains UnderSecretary ofState.inturn. On theonehand. seventeen committees before congressional committing 'I think allknow itbynow'.The killing of the Americanambassador to Kabul.

state ofthat country's politics Historically. while leafletsand radio broadcasts storiessympathetic IranandspilloverintoAfghanistan. totherebels. in Iranto jointherebel forces workers stranded Afghan transit for Iraninto from Afghans crossed March1979 several thousand In fact. minority to the ancien re'gime. is a shadow ofitsformer Iranian army Rather. Fora leftist.His hosts. off against ofHerat. theKhalqisflood attacking to Qom A delegation ofAfghan bothShiiand Sunni. during an uprising there thegovernment.Therehas beenno direct has taken Islamic groups forthe in the fighting. casualties. and for selling arms committees arefull of newspapers through thebazaarsofMashhad. See variousarticles see Mardom viewoftheAfghan conflict (Tehran)in thesamemonths. theShiites'.'deathtoKhomeini'. endwithheavy Iran.theAfghans to 'oppress whenTaraki's the Iranianpressexpressed its satisfaction and subsequently.233 on Mon. Iran Times.27 in Pakistan. therebels. Sovietand Khalqi allegations to thateffect. 1979. pro-Khalqi This content downloaded from 78. the for to raisemoney leadsthelocalbazaarcommittee Iranian whichdominates politics. theShiites. Iranian intervention shape. a purgeagainstthe local Shiite deathwas reported. offuture tiesto an Iranian holding out theprospect and are security stability forthcoming. thefrontier towns intheregion. in Kabul. of Afghanrefugee Torbat-eHeydariand Jam displaya flurry treated the oftheIslamicRevolution initially thelocal committees Although betweenthe various co-operation Afghansas Sovietagentsprovocateurs. Iranhas always a secure. in thewholeaffair giventhefluid The roleoftheIranians is mostelusive.32 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS of thesetalkswas to secure The avowedpurpose Khomeini'sentourage.Now these have joined the Khalqis' other officers and 'deathto in prison. in thewakeoftheShah's downfall.has ventured clerics. ifnotdominant position sought trade-and-aid Shah'splanstoreplace theSoviet Unionas Afghanistan's biggest thatthepresent Thereis no reasonto think thisprecedent. agreeon fewthings.Iranian raising money to the rebellion. collegeof Ayatollahs in Kabul.published between Juneand September 27. The in Afghanistan. torecent travellers According activity. Moscow The view from of whether Moscowsharesthedoctrinaire inflexibility It is to be wondered in Etelaa/.86. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Meanwhile. Iranian willnottry to turnthetroubles regime ifonly 'IslamicRepublic'. causewiththeir to takeup their in Qom and has taken up residence Sheikh MohseniofKandahar. When are united in condemnation regime butthey ofthepresent continue Tarakithefate oftheShahifhe should Khomeini promised Ayatollah a 'maniac'bycalling Khomeini responded Islam'. despite theIslamic in theprovince self.TehranJournal.sparking theprovince town therevolt to an ofHeratbrought medieval against thequaint Air strikes In a reverse as 8. fled Heratfor ofTayyabad. areorganising relief therefugees. wallgraffitti while enemies read. families many provided Kabul's ShiiteQizilbash has beenreported. Iranian The mostprominent of counterparts.000 refugees as many movement. partner followed in Afghanistan to advantage.86.

But therecord ofSovietinvolvement in Afghanistan doesnotpromise encouraging flexibility on Russia'spartin a resolution oftheconflict. in Afghanistan run deeper But the SovietUnion's perceptual difficulties in Central Asia. a perceptual withpresent fortheir successors in dealing creates problem day Afghanistan.AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 33 itsproteges in Kabul. andgo backtothehistorical ofCommunism genesis Asia in the1920s.or howfar they willgo in trying to extricate them from their difficulties. onewouldthink that theRussians would haveforeseen many oftheproblems nowfacing theKhalqiregime. historically The verysuccessof theSovietRevolution in Central Asia to Afghanistan. suchas theKhalq. therefore. that Americans arerather better informed aboutthelives surprising. After thirty yearsofactiveSovietparticipation in the internal development ofAfghanistan.the Bolsheviks simply This content downloaded from 78.but gave relatively and tribal nomads-or any ofthe country's manyotherethnic groups-the often United States scholars toinvestigate tribal andethnic sentmany cultures.86. Yet Sovietmyopia is morespecific. programmes. powerof the central government By a fewautocratic took overthe state toppling khans. It is easyfor a super-power toforget that itsbacking maybe thekissofdeath in a xenophobic toa policy ora leader country. however. To this extent. neighbouring do. The Russians inKabul see theVolgacar. Pushtunmilitary littleattention to the Pushtun elite. thelatter Russians: knowthedetribalised. The Bolsheviks carried outa lightning conquest ofCentral in andbuilding an oasisofSoviet-style thelocalelite.whatever a better Americans activethere cameawaywith graspoftherural realities of the countryside than thatenjoyedby high-level members of the Afghan rural The Russians. The differing fociof the two countries' academicand cultural tiesare also While the Russianscultivated trainedthe significant. in conjunction withruraldevelopment It is perhapsnot so programmes.233 on Mon. theSoviet Unionis no moremyopic aboutAfghanistan thansuper-powers are generally. thanthis. most with.To begin the faultsof Americanaid policiesin Afghanistan. military and civilPushtun eliteofAfghanistan-though thesepeopleare onlya small andunrepresentative sample oftheir countrymen. thanare the and tribesmen of Afghanistan's 10 million farmers herdsmen. subjugating development all in an environment andculturally linked themidst ofthesteppe. in contrast. and has morespecific causes. a country of extreme In Central found Asia theBolsheviks of latifundia. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . It is notat all clearhow the Russians viewtheoptions oftheKhalqisnow. class division between was as extensive as it was despotic.theAmericans in Tehransawpizzaparlours.86. It is easyfor citizens ofa superto stroll power downthestreets ofa Third-World capital and be comforted by thesight familiar ofso many piecesofmaterial culture. In question too is the extentof unconditional support which theywill extendto an indigenous Communist party. had no large-scale government. The the peasantsand the oftenabsentee landlords. Pushto literature.

. 29. This content downloaded from 78. the khansof Afghanistan of their people.whiletherapaciousness ofthelocal officials increasesas each coup shortensthe tenureand security of the petty bureaucrats. 'parasitic'. New YorkTimes.Expropriation ofwater rights and grazing rights was moregradually executed.alienatedand isolatedfromAfghan incredulity. Tactically theyhave a freehand over the Khalqis. Some Khalqishave expressed concern 28. 'Landlords greater thanthese(owners of 100 acres)can be counted on As one leavesTurkistan. ofleaders have as a generation ' " At rather thaninvolvement with theSoviet Union. But no newfaces have comeforward to co-operate withtheRussians.233 on Mon. chosenapolitical apathy thesame time. Russianfeelers theformer Vizier towards kingand theroyal theirnarrow them. Studies Analysis Sept.86. It is Moscow's insensitivity to this. thetribal khan is the best protection againsttyranny. Where government is nonthe tribalkhan assures against anarchy. In Monich'sLetter fromTurkistan (1927) we read. September 17. thedomain ofsmalllandholders increases. theformer including King inabsentia ZahirShah(condemned todeath andthe bytheKhalqgovernment) GrandVizier. 'feudal'classthat theBolsheviks encountered in Central Asia fifty are vitalto the social survival yearsago. CharioftheNew Delhi Institute ofDefense 1979.its confidence in bureaucracy and centralisation as the solution to the problems of development and political that ittothechallenge inAfghanistan. towardsthe future of politics. R.Far frombeing the existent. feudal where independent landlords moderate the bandit treatment ofthepeasants bytheofficials'. one's fingers. inAsiaweek. as demonstrated by theiropen withmembers consultation oftheancienregime.3. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . integration mayblind itfaces This is notto saythat theRussians haveno roomto manoeuvre. as therebels andtheKhalqisare towards Afghanistan cannot on their comeup with Pushtun-elite relying contacts. anyalternatives. 1979.But theRussians. Wherethecentral government interferes in rurallife. though not without muchbloodshed andan exodus ofrefugees toAfghanistan. The social role of the khansof Afghanistan todayin mostof the country remains as Monichdescribes it.the former King is almostas indifferent him. A Soviet anthropologist warned the Bolsheviksabout the different to be found in thekingdom conditions belowtheOxus. .86.34 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS and rechristened administration thesystem 'socialist'. suspicious thattheSoviets will their revolution.Nur AhmanEtemadi to havebeenexecuted (now reported by havebeenwidely theKhalqinKabul). The Khalqis. havegrown commitment to for their ofSoviet part.28 Suchmoves as an attempt interpreted bytheSoviet Unionto expand thebaseoftheregime.The underscore of the problems understanding facing Shah dialogue with thenewsoftheSoviet-Zaher rebelsin Peshawar greeted In exile forseven years. Yet nowhere does the peasantry experience such horrors as it is economically . See analysis byP.

30. writing massivement dans la guerrecivile .Thoughit mayinitially Parchamparty. The Russians lacka power base in Afghanistan and therapidly Were outside thepurged Parchamis contracting Khalq Party. Theyclaim.Iran and and instability confusion thanin anyyearsince1946-the heyday ofCommunist activity Afghanistan Russians arefaced with ofa broadly intheregion-the theprospect anti-Soviet. Hence theirneed fora Pan-Islamic movement threatening ofthesituation. and yet It is widely agreed thattheRussians the SovietUnion maybe preparing witha military massively to intervene it it maybe no contradiction to saythattheRussians force. Muslim National andreligious in Turkey. pictures theRussians'devantun AndreFontaine.anditmadeno overt movewhen advanced thepower ofthestrong-man theousted Tarakiwas killed. It acquiesced Amin.86. Particularly forfearof domestic to thetea-kettle ofKabul theRussianshave alwaysbeen aliveto the regard threatthat the kingdomshould prove ungovernable. soit choix delicat.86. thattheMuslimnationalities a policyof stabilisation Muslimworld. there wouldbe little mutual trust they to shift support backto theParchamis. policies in Afghanistan here. Now. Strategically necessary tosecure they do notcompletely The civil war in have inflexible parameters.1979. committing themselves firmly Afghanistan causes specialconcern to thembecauseit is precisely oftheSovietUnionlookontothe Afghanistan. stabilisation in Le Monde.thefault whichis tying up not be the external opposition to theKhalq government aidso much the in theKhalqparty. Therefore. Soviets havebeenreluctant to stir conflicts up ethnic with Iran and Afghanistan. Chicago.soit intervenir .AFGHANISTAN IN TURMOIL 35 doinganything moreforthe Khalqi wait to see how the chipsfallbefore ofdollars ofaid regime. . from which Soviet as theinternal struggles have favoured the SovietUnionmustremain aloof. the a son sortle regime tresimpopulaire abandoner fortherecan be no simpleanswerto any policy choiceis alwaysdelicate. .The Russianshave long pursued on their the southern attempts to extend frontiers. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a regime their support. This content downloaded from 78. leftist relationship. For a super-power. with more in the 'NorthernTier' of Turkey. shouldfalter. thatmanyof themillions iftheKhalq pledged by theSovietUnion to Kabul have yetto materialise: But it may thestory willrestwiththeRussians. As discussed andAlexandre frontiers Wimbush Bennigsen byEnders in theSovietUnion30 the Communism in their recent work. As thefighting winds months.'. without and credibility foranySoviet-Afghan the to supporting the Khalqi government. withits closertiesto Moscow. Soviet Unioncando little actively toreplace are unhappy withtheKhalq.. repercussions. interrupted byStalin'spostwar seaward. theRussians downduring thewinter dilemma. goes. mayfind Indeed.233 on Mon..the SovietUnion gracefully and theemergence oftheAmin-Taraki accepted thepurgeoftheParchamis in several ministerial changes which duoin thesummer of1978.forexample. London: Chicago University Press. CentralAsia.

36 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS forAmin.86. confronted with thesuperpower. ofMarxist ideologues hostile peasants. The tragedy ofthesmallcountry.233 on Mon. Or they an island in a sea of theKhalqiregime justbarely afloat. This content downloaded from 78. support foran will probably trya littleof everything-support may alternative. In theendthey determined succeed in preserving theirpositionin Afghanistan through maykeep intervention andforced communalisation ofthecountryside. selective compromise.86. massive intervention.notinKabul. 28 Oct 2013 03:38:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . is that this'delicate choice'must be madeinMoscow.