The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, 1979

Am Univ Field Staff Rep Asia. 1979;32:1-11.


PIP: 4 struggles currently dominate Afghan politics: 1) the war being fought by regionally and religously oriented guerrillas to overthrow the Soviet-leaning Amin regime; 2) the competition between conservative and religious leaders in the Pushtun area to monopolize funds from friendly Arabs; 3) the attempts by guerrilla forces to establish localized bases of power, so that any new regime in Kabul must grant the various ethno-linguistic groups some type of regional autonomy; and 4) the internal struggle for power within the Khalq leadership. 2 factions of Khalquis are involved: the liberal nationalists, led by Panjsheri and most military members of the Cabinet and Revolutionary Council; and the pro-Soviet opportunists led by Amin. The author lists these points after recounting the events leading to the coup d'etat against the Daoud regime on April 17, 1978 and the subsequent, but not markedly successful, attempts by leaders of the newly proclaimed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan to gain stability and implement land reform. More often, the struggle for security and legitimacy has led to rhetoric and repression--and growing opposition. The Soviet Union, which is currently facing an Islamic revival within its own borders, will only intervene physically against its better judgment, in the opinion of the author; the United States is terminating all aid, including the Peace Corps.

MeSH terms

  • Afghanistan
  • Asia
  • Developing Countries
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Public Policy*
  • Social Planning