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May 14, 2022

Eric, Rob and Rudy join to discuss Afghanistan, focusing on its socialist period from 1979 to 1992. We discuss the history of the Afghan state from its beginnings as the Durrani empire, its interactions with Russia and the British empire, the Zahir Shah monarchy and the Daoud period all the way up to the Saur revolution, including a discussion of the communist and Islamist factions in the country. We talk about the initial reforms the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) tried to make, and why this caused uprisings that would eventually lead to the long Soviet intervention in the 80s. We discuss the war, including the radical changes of policies of the government, which slowly abandoned the idea of socialism in the late 80s. We end by discussing the Soviet withdrawal and the ultimate causes for the collapse of the government of Najibullah.

Main References:
Niamatullah Ibrahimi - The Hazaras and the Afghan State: Rebellion, Exclusion and the Struggle for Recognition
Antonio Giustozzi - War, Politics and Society in Afghanistan, 1978-1992
Gilles Dorronsoro - Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present
Rodric Braithwaite - Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89 
Jonathan Neal - Remembering the Saur Revolution