National Sections of the L5I:

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Blair’s second front

Britain has deployed 3,000 troops in southern Afghanistan, for a three year stint, at a cost of £1 billion. Tony Blair, who famously said about Iraq that the price in British lives was “worth paying”, is again asking working class 22 year-olds to stump up the “blood price”. Read more...

Q&A on the Afghan war

What does Workers Power say about the war?
Our position on the imperialist attack on Afghanistan is that we are for the defeat of Britain/USA and its allies and for the victory of all the Afghan forces that resist them. Read more...

The history of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is not simply a poor country. It is one of the most economically and socially backward, war ravaged, famine stricken and desperate places on earth. Yet the USA, the world’s biggest imperialist power, has launched a prolonged military onslaught on it. This can only add to the devastation which Soviet intervention, CIA sponsored civil war and the reactionary medievalists of the Taliban have so far achieved. Read more...

Stop the invasion of Afghanistan!

The US-led attack on Afghanistan is an atrocity. The war that Bush and Blair have unleashed from the comfort of Washington and Westminster will kill and maim thousands more innocent victims.

We have to be clear that in this war we want to see the imperialist coalition defeated, and that means supporting all Afghan military resistance against imperialism, including Taliban resistance. Why? Read more...

Who backed the Taliban?

The Taliban’s shock troops were the dispossessed youth of the refugee camps in Pakistan. But how did such a makeshift force win so many stunning victories in such a short time? Who backed the Taliban?

In the light of the west’s fulminations against the Taliban after 11 September the answer to this question will catch the unwary by surprise. The Taliban could not have won without the backing of the USA. Imperialism helped them to power and then kept them in power. Read more...

Who are the Taliban?

The Taliban – which literally means “students” or “seekers” of Islamic knowledge – grew from nothing in 1994 to become rulers of 90 per cent of Afghanistan by 1996.

It is an extremely young movement. The average age of its partisans is 14 to 24, and its leader Mullah Omar is 40 years old. It is an exclusively male Muslim brotherhood. Read more...

Reaction triumphs

With the capture of Kabul by the forces led by Ahmed Shah Massoud and the installation of an Interim Commission of the Mujahedin in power on 28 April the fourteen year long Afghan civil war came to an end. Another may follow, as Mike Evans explains Read more...

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan

Adopted by the MRCI conference, April 1988

1. In 1978 the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power. It was a party based on the urban intelligentsia and the upper ranks of the armed forces. The party was based on the Stalinist monolithic model but was riven by factional conflicts. The PDPA’s programme consisted of a series of democratic reforms, based on continuing the policy of co-operation with the USSR which had been pursued by the king until 1973, and which Daoud, in conjunction with the CIA and the Shah of Iran, was attempting to stop. The seizure of power had popular support in the towns. It was, however, not a Soviet organised putsch. The Soviet Union had hitherto been content with Afghanistan as a neutral buffer state. In return the Soviet Union pumped in large amounts of aid being concerned only that the Afghan regime was “friendly”. But the effects of Soviet aid (army training, education etc) were to pro-Sovietise the majority of the army officer corps and state bureaucracy. Read more...

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