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Lasting effects of the soviet afghan war

Updated: Mar 16

The Soviet-Afghan War, which lasted from 1979 to 1989, had significant and long-lasting effects on both Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Let's go over some of the lasting effects of the war.


Lasting effects of the Soviet-Afghan war on the region

  1. Rise of the Taliban: The war created a power vacuum in Afghanistan, which was filled by the Taliban, a radical Islamist group that ruled the country from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban's extreme policies, such as the suppression of women's rights, contributed to the destabilization of the country.

  2. Emergence of Al-Qaeda: During the war, Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian national, joined the Afghan resistance against the Soviet Union. After the war, he founded Al-Qaeda, which became a global terrorist organization responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks.

  3. Destabilization of Central Asia: The war had a ripple effect throughout Central Asia, leading to the emergence of other radical Islamist groups and the spread of terrorism in the region.

  4. Collapse of the Soviet Union: The war put a significant strain on the Soviet economy and military, contributing to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This lead to creation of new republics which soon became major players in the region.

  5. Humanitarian crisis: The war resulted in the displacement of millions of Afghan civilians, many of whom were forced to flee to neighboring countries. The war also caused significant damage to infrastructure and left Afghanistan in a state of ongoing conflict and instability.


Lasting effects of the Soviet-Afghan war on the Soviet Union

The Soviet-Afghan War had significant and lasting effects on the Soviet Union, both domestically and internationally. Here are some of the effects:

  1. Economic drain: The war was a significant economic drain on the Soviet Union, costing an estimated $8 billion annually. The war also contributed to the Soviet Union's already weakened economy and played a role in its eventual collapse.

  2. Military depletion: The war resulted in the loss of an estimated 15,000 Soviet soldiers and the injury of another 45,000. The conflict also contributed to the depletion of the Soviet military, which had already been weakened by a decade-long arms race with the United States.

  3. Domestic unrest: at later stages this war was widely unpopular with the Soviet public, and opposition to it contributed to domestic unrest and protest. The war also eroded the credibility of the Soviet government and military.

  4. International isolation: The Soviet Union's involvement in the war resulted in international condemnation and isolation, particularly from the United States and its allies.

  5. Symbolic defeat: The war was ultimately a military and political failure for the Soviet Union, as its forces were unable to defeat the Afghan resistance. The Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 was widely seen as a symbolic defeat and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union just two years later.


Lasting effects of the Soviet-Afghan war on Afghanistan

The Soviet-Afghan War had a devastating impact on Afghanistan, with long-lasting effects that continue to be felt today. Here are some of the lasting effects of the war on Afghanistan:

  1. Destruction of infrastructure: The war resulted in the destruction of much of Afghanistan's infrastructure. The country's economy, already fragile before the war, was decimated.

  2. Displacement of civilians: The war resulted in the displacement of millions of Afghan civilians, many of whom fled to neighboring countries as refugees. The conflict also caused widespread human rights abuses and atrocities against civilians.

  3. Civil war: the communist government left by the Soviet Union couldn't hold for long (thought ironically it overlived Soviet government). This created the power vacuum which essentially ended in a full on civil war.

  4. Emergence of warlords: The war also led to the emergence of warlords, who fought for control of different regions of the country. This contributed to ongoing conflict and instability, with the central government struggling to maintain control.

  5. Poverty and lack of development: The war and its aftermath resulted in widespread poverty and lack of development in Afghanistan. The country remains one of the poorest in the world, with limited access to education, healthcare, and other basic services.


Summary


The Soviet-Afghan War, which lasted from 1979 to 1989, had significant and far-reaching consequences for both Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. The war resulted in the displacement of millions of Afghan civilians, destruction of infrastructure, and the emergence of warlords, contributing to ongoing conflict and instability in the country. The rise of the Taliban and the emergence of Al-Qaeda were also consequences of the war. For the Soviet Union, the war was an economic and military drain, contributing to its eventual collapse, as well as domestic unrest and international isolation. Overall, the war had devastating impacts on both countries, with lasting effects that continue to shape their futures.

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