The fall of Afghanistan: 20 years of imperialist meddling

Date: Saturday 30th October
Time: 10:30 - 12:15
Speaker: Fred Weston

In 2001 US President George W Bush sent American troops into Afghanistan and soon afterwards the Taliban regime fell. This was followed by years of fighting in which several hundreds of thousands of people were killed, including many civilians, and several thousand US soldiers. After twenty years the Taliban are back in power.

How do we explain the power of the Taliban? The answer is to be found in Afghanistan’s past. When Soviet troops went into the country at the end of 1979, US imperialism backed Islamist forces to fight them. The US defined them “freedom fighters”, but in fact they were the very same people who went on to become known as the Taliban. But why were Soviet troops in Afghanistan?

One has to understand the 1978 Saur Revolution, what it meant, and why it threatened the interests of US imperialism in the region if one wants to know what is happening in Afghanistan today.

Recommended reading: Afghan Saur Revolution 1978: what it achieved, how it was crushed