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Meanwhile the Soviets and its Afganistan government forces brace for the complete deterioration of the nation
Soviet newspapers report that some Afghan army units have begun looting their strongholds and abandoning them to guerrillas. (VOA)the last Soviet troops fly out of Kabul, ending a nine-year occupation of Afghanistan ahead of schedule. Moslem rebels launch rocket attacks on Kabul hours before the final withdrawal. (BBC)
The value of the early assumptions proved very real, though the soviet controlled government was able to hold the nation until 1992, despite many rebel attempts to take over the nation, and especially Kabul. Again on February 16th the U.S. pledges to continue to support the rebels, stating that the ultimate goal of the support is, "...Afghan self-determination. Secretary of State James Baker says the Soviets should assist in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. (NYT)"
Defections of government troops to rebel forces continues, unabated. In one defection, near the Soviet border, "Material gained by the resistance included fifteen tanks and armored cars, forty trucks, fifty tractors and bulldozers, 10,000 assault rifles, 850 heavy machine guns and a large number of grenade launchers. (VOA)"
By 1992 the Najibullah's hold on power had come to a near complete failure.
For the past few years as many as fifteen different guerrilla groups, known as mujahidin (holy warriors), had been advancing on Kabul, intent on deposing Najib. The mujahidin, armed and financed principally by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Iran had fought for ten years against the Soviet Union, and once the Soviet Union withdrew they continued their battle against Najib, who had been supported by the Soviet Union. The mujahidin saw Najib as a Soviet puppet, and even worse, as a godless atheist ruling a devout Muslim country
This is despite the fact that Najib had managed to hold on to the nation for almost three years, far laonger than any experts or rebels believed he was capable of doing. Yet, his time proved to be at an end, despite UN protection, by seclusion for nearly 4 years, after his failed attempt to leave the nation in 1992. Najib was eventually taken by rebels and executed with several of his family members and some other Soviet backed officials.
A council of Impartials, was put in place as a temporary step, but it also failed to unify the nation.
The barring of Najib from leaving Afghanistan, as well as the concurrent takeover of Kabul in 1992 proved to be the beginning of yet another end. In fact even those rebels that barred his leaving, in some ways regret the action, as it allowed for the takeover of the nation by the Taliban by the end of 1996.
On 27 September 1996, Taliban soldiers entered the UN compound, captured, tortured, and killed Najibullah, then hanged him in Ariana Square, outside the Presidential palace. He had been sequestered with the UN for almost four and a half years."
KABUL, Sept 27  (Reuters) €"Afghanistan's Taleban Islamic militia appeared in full control of Kabul on Friday after entering the capital in tanks and on foot, witnesses said. They said the streets were bustling with pedestrians, cyclists and cars, and shops and markets were open despite an Islamic holiday. Tanks had pulled back to the side streets although fighters were still visible at key points. All key government installations appeared to be in Taleban hands including the Presidential Palace and the Ministries of Defence, Security and Foreign Affairs. No government forces were visible on the city's streets.Unusual activity was most obvious outside the presidential palace, where crowds had gathered to see the bodies of former President Najibullah and his brother Shahpur Ahmadzai hanging from a concrete traffic-control post. "We killed him because [he] was the murderer of our people," Noor Hakmal, a Taleban commander who entered the city from Charasyab, south of Kabul, overnight, told Reuters. "Najibullah was ousted in 1992 when Islamic Mujahideen guerrilla forces closed in on Kabul after 14 years of civil war against a Soviet backed communist government." The Taleban met little resistance from government forces which had abandoned the city hours before.
The overthrow of the Taliban regime, did not occur until 2001, when U.S. forces began its War on Terror, and backed the Northern Alliance (a loose coalition of Northern Rebels) against the Taliban, in an effort to weed out the terrorist cells, that included Al Qaeda, and their leader Osama Bin Laden who had been supported and abetted by the Taliban since his exile from Pakistan.
Phase One of America's war on terrorism was fought during the fall of 2001 against Afghanistan's Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. The air offensive began on October 7, and by late December Taliban forces were fleeing from their fortifications. The key to these victories was the capture of Mazar-e Sharif by the Northern Alliance on November 9. Shortly afterward, the Taliban retreated from Herat, Kabul, Jalalabad, and eventually from Kandahar in early December. These cities fell like dominos, as Taliban and Al Qaeda forces headed into the mountains, where they continued their fight using guerrilla warfare tactics. The Northern Alliance, a patchwork of militias, was commanded by Gen. Muhammed Fahim. This armed force's triumph over the Taliban defending Mazar-e Sharif was primarily due to the effectiveness of air power. American special forces, working with the Northern Alliance, used laptops and ground-laser target designators to pin point enemy forces. Then, they signaled this information to loitering B-52s and other aircraft that attacked with precision guided munitions. The Taliban were confronted from the right flank, the left flank, and the vertical flank as air power rained bombs down upon them. According to the Jane's Intelligence Review, it was in these vertical flank attacks, especially in the conquest of Mazar-e Sharif that victory hinged. (1) the sequence of events leading to the capture of Mazar-e Sharif began immediately after September 11th.
The success of the overthrow of the Taliban having been determined, leaves the nation in a state of only relative clam and the international involvement was the key to both the overthrow of the Taliban as well as the modern reconstruction of Afghanistan, a situation that is still going on today. The Northern Alliance has developed into an organization that has helped, with outside assistance to rebuild this troubled nation. Lessons may have been learned by all but actions of a few are still called into question with regard to outside interference in foreign conflicts, even when these nations start them with armed intervention.
Chipman, Don. "Air Power and the Battle for Mazar-E Sharif." Air Power History 50, no. 1 (2003): 34.
Corwin, Phillip. Doomed in Afghanistan: A UN Officer's Memoir of the Fall of Kabul and Najibullah's Failed Escape, 1992. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003.
Edwards, David B. Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002.
Rogers, Tom. The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Analysis and Chronology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
Tom Rogers, the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Analysis and Chronology (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 3.
Phillip Corwin, Doomed in Afghanistan: A UN Officer's Memoir of the Fall of Kabul and Najibullah's Failed Escape, 1992 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003), 1. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=103153638
David B. Edwards, Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad (Berkeley, CA: University of California…[continue]
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