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Was Afghanistan Invasion of 1979 and Occasion and not the Cause of the End of Detente - Essay Example

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Was Afghanistan Invasion Of 1979 An Occasion And Not The Cause Of The End Of Detente? Institution name: Date: Word count: Was Afghanistan invasion of 1979 an occasion and not the cause of the end of detente? Introduction Detente is a French term that means relaxation or lessening of strained relations mostly in political situations1…
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Was Afghanistan Invasion of 1979 and Occasion and not the Cause of the End of Detente
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"Was Afghanistan Invasion of 1979 and Occasion and not the Cause of the End of Detente"

Download file to see previous pages Among these treaties and agreements were the SALT 1, SALT II and the Helsinki Agreement which committed both countries to stop the production of missiles and nuclear weapons4. In 1979, Soviet invaded Afghanistan and this led to the total breakdown of the detente5. However, I consider that Afghanistan invasion as an occasion but not the ultimate cause to the end of detente. This is informed by an evaluation of the causes of Afghanistan invasion and the relations between the two superpowers preceding the invasion. Causes of Afghanistan Invasion In 1779 After the end of the Second World War, United States and Soviet Union were engrossed in arms race. Consequently, the two nations decided to come to start negotiations to limit the number of missiles and nuclear weapons that they could keep. These negotiations were held in two phases; SALT I which ran from 1969 to 1972 which culminated with the signing of Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty6. This was followed by SALT II which began in 1972 but was never ratified by the US Senate7. United States hoped that through detente, they would have a smooth exit from the Vietnam War8. United States History explains that the two countries viewed detente differently where United States expected that Soviet Union had agreed to a worldwide standoff9. On the other hand, Soviets saw it as their obligation to support revolutions in any part of the world where they considered that there was oppression10. According to United States History, these varying interpretations strained the relationship and detente broke down with Afghanistan invasion in 197911. Some people felt that the attack was an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation12. Guide to Russia.com describes that Berlin, Hungary, Cuba and Korea had adopted communism and Afghanistan was seen to following the way13. In December 1979, Soviets paratroopers landed in the capital city; Kabul. The country was already in tension following the prime ministers attempt to introduce western policies and do away with the Muslim belief14. This had therefore infuriated majority of the Afghanistan since they had a strong Muslim tradition. Consequently, many Muslim leaders had been arrested while others had fled Kabul15. Furthermore, the communist government was also opposed to religion. Consequently, thousands of Muslims in Afghanistan joined a guerrilla force known as Mujahedeen which declared jihad war on all the supporter of the prime minister16. They wanted to overthrow the government. The Soviets came in to support the government of the Afghan but on 27th December, 1979; they shot dead the then prime minister Amin and replaced him with Babrak Kamal17. However, the position of the new leader entirely depended on the support of Russians. The war started but the Russian army could not march the power of the Mujahedeen since they had the knowledge of the terrain and were committed to the jihad war18. United Nations was opposed to the invasion and had called for Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan in January of 1980 although the motion was vetoed by Russia. Following the invasion, America introduced a ban on export of grains to Russia, stopped further SALT talks and refused to participate in the Moscow Olympic Games that were due to be held in 198019. America did not intervene in the war since they viewed this as a chance to get intelligence on the Russian weapons in addition to the fact that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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