Chapter 14.

Nationalism and Communism in Africa, the Middle East

and Afghanistan.

General Introduction.

1. Geography.

Africa is a continent covering 11,700,000 square miles, with an estimated population of 455 million. It is divided into two main regions: (a) North Africa, i.e., north of the Sahara; and (b) Subsaharan Africa, i.e., south of the Sahara. There are also sub-regions, i.e., Equatorial Africa, the Horn of Africa, East Africa, West Africa, and South Africa.

The Middle East is generally understood to include the countries lying between Egypt in the North West and Iran in the northeast. Afghanistan is generally considered to be part of Central Asia, but is included in this chapter because it in was the only communist-dominated country in that region.

Politically, the Middle East is generally divided into two regions: (a) the Northern Tier [Turkey and Iran]; and (b) the Southern Tier, also known as the "Arab Core." Afghanistan, which borders on Iran in the west, was at one time considered part of the Northern Tier.

The Northern Tier separates the Arab Core from the USSR. The Arab Core is in turn subdivided into two sub-regions: (a) The Fertile Crescent, i.e., Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan; and (b) the Red Sea region, i.e., Egypt (also partially Mediterranean) and the Arabian Peninsula. The latter has the largest oil reserves after Russia (Siberia), and also has the largest oil production in the world. Finally, the Red Sea region includes Israel, although it belongs primarily to the Mediterranean area of the Middle East.

2. Religions.

Almost the whole of North Africa and all of the Middle East, except for Israel, is of the Islamic or Moslem faith, which also has sizable groups south of the Sahara, and is likewise the religion of Afghanistan. Islam is divided into Sunny and Shia (Shiite) believers; the Iranians are Shiite, as is part of the population of Iraq; most of the other peoples are Sunny. The Catholic religion is widespread in the former French and Portuguese colonies, while Protestant religions are more common in former British colonies. Finally, native religions and cults flourish in most parts of Africa.

3. Racial Composition.

Both Arabs and Jews are members of the Semitic race. Ethiopians are divided into two main groups: Hamitic (or Cushtic) and Semitic Ethiopians, known as Amhara. The majority of Africans belong to the Black race. The Iranians, Turks and Afghanistanis (or Afghans) are Asiatic peoples. Most of the whites in South Africa -- who have ruled over the Black majority -- are descended mostly from Dutch settlers, known as Boers (Boer is the Dutch word for peasant), while the rest are descended mostly from British settlers.

4. Historical Background.

a. Africa.

The remnants of ancient African civilizations can be seen in artifacts. European incursions began with the Portuguese in the late 1400s, followed by Dutch settlers (Boers) who came to S. Africa in the mid-1600s, and then by British settlers who came into South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Rhodesia, and Uganda in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Most of North Africa was ruled in ancient times by Carthage or Rome, and then became part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. France conquered Algeria in 1830, but most French settlers had left by the time Algerian independence was proclaimed in July 1962, after a bloody Franco-Algerian war. The Spanish and French had conquered parts of Morocco from the Ottoman Turks in the 19th and 20th centuries, but the country became independent in March 1956. The Italians conquered Libya from the Ottoman Turks in 1912. It was ruled by the British and French after World War II and became an independent monarchy in 1952, but Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi seized power in 1969 and has ruled it since that time.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, the main European economic interest in Africa was the slave trade. Slaves were exported first to the sugar plantations in the Caribbean, and then to the cotton plantations in the southern United States. The British abolished the slave trade in the early nineteenth century, but it persisted in the U.S. until 1863, and in the Belgian Congo until the early 20th century. It was not abolished in Saudi Arabia until after World War II. However, as late as 1962, it was estimated that there were still some 250,000 slaves in various parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. In 1995-96, western journalists reported the existence of slavery in the Sudan. Various forms of slavery exist in Third World countries today, including Latin America.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, European explorers penetrated inland from the coastal areas and aroused new interest in the African continent. This led to its partition by the European powers, mostly between 1870 and 1914. The largest holdings belonged to Great Britain, followed by France, Belgium, Spain (Morocco), Italy, and Germany. Of course, the oldest colonies belonged to the Portuguese, i.e., Angola and Mozambique.

Independent African states emerged after World War II, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Except for the long and bloody French war in Algeria, and the Mau Mau war in Kenya, the transition from white to native rule was generally peaceful. The Portuguese revolution of 1974 led to the independence of Angola and Mozambique, but was followed by protracted civil wars.

The bitter confrontation between the white minority and Black majority in South Africa ended in the early 1990s. "Apartheid" (separation of the races) was abolished in 1990, and negotiations took place toward froming a Black majority government. In early October 1993, the leader of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela, requested the lifting of economic sanctions that had been imposed on South Africa by Western nations since the early 1960s in protest against apartheid. Nevertheless, given the opposition of some extreme Boer groups to Black majority rule, as well as the rivalry for power between the African National Congress on the one hand, and the Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party on the other, the situation looked foreboding.

It was, therefore, a great relief to all that the elections of May 1994 were peaceful and led to an overwhelming victory for Mandela and the ANC. Mandela was elected President. Here we should note that Mandela and the Inkatha leader, Buthulezi, reached agreement before the elections to reserve special status for the Zulu province of Natal, but there are still clashes between Zulus and ANC supporters. Many whites wanted a white homeland, but this seems to have gone by the board. Trials are now taking place of policemen and politicians accused of crimes against the Black population during the Apartheid era. There is still much unemployment among the Blacks and many question marks remain. Will the new majority Black government resist the temptation to nationalize the private, white-owned and white-managed industries? And if they don't take these over, will the Black citizens of South Africa continue to accept poverty and unemployment, or will they seize what they want from the whites? The future of South Africa seems rather uncertain.

b. The Middle East.

As noted earlier, the predominant religion here is Islam The Islamic or Moslem faith was established by Mohammed, who was born in Mecca in 570 A.D. and died in 632 A.D. His followers spread the faith all over North Africa, the Middle East, as well as Asia.

The tenets of the Koran have much in common with the Jewish and Christian faiths. We should also bear in mind that in early medieval times the Islamic states of North Africa experienced a great development of learning and the arts, but were destroyed by the Mongol (Tartar) invasions of the early 1200s. This advanced culture incorporated arabic translations from ancient Greek philosophers and medical doctors, which were then translated into Latin to form part of the learning of medieval Europe. This arab culture survived in Moorish Spain, until it was conquered by Ferdinand and Isabella, who united all of Spain in 1492 - the year that Columbus discovered America.

The last great Islamic empire was the Ottoman Empire. This empire existed from 1290 to 1918. It was allied with the Central Powers, Germany and Austria-Hungary, and collapsed as the result of military defeat in World War I. In any case, the empire was in decline since about 1600. It had been weakened in the 19th and early 20th century by independence movements in the Balkans and, to a lesser extent, in North Africa. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in late 1918, the peoples of the Middle East struggled for independence against the successor powers, i.e., Gt.Briain, France, and Italy. Here we should note that the Turkish core of the old Ottoman Empire became modern Turkey, which underwent intensive modernization on Western lines in the 1920s and 1930s. This was the work of the father of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk (1880-1938).

Iran is the successor of ancient Persia which became an empire under Cyrus the Great in 525 b.c. When it declined, it passed successively under Arab, Monogl, and the Ottoman Turkish rule. In 1907, an Anglo-Russian agreement divided Persia into English and Rsusian spheres of influence. British Petroleum (BP) developed the oil fileds of the country. In 1921, General Reza Pahlavi seized power and became the hereditary Shah (Emperor). His pro-German sympathies led to another Anglo-Russian agreement and the occupation of Iran by the two powers in 1941; they also made his young son, Mohammed Reza, Shah.

Persia, renamed Iran in 1935, was under preponderant British influence. U.S. influence was predominant British, then American influence until 1979. The last Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, tried to modernize Iran. He was finally overthrown by a revolution led by Shiite clergy. He fled in February 1979, and was succeeded by the Islamic Shiia fanatic, Ayatollah Khomeini, who established a fundamentalist Islamic state. Khomeini died in June 1989. His successor is the more moderate President Hashemi Rasfanjani. There was a bitter Iran-Iraqi war from 1980-88.

After World War I, the British dominated Egypt, where they had wielded significant influence from the late 19th century . They also ruled Palestine (League of Nations mandate), and dominated Trans-Jordan as well as the sheikhdoms of the Arabian Peninsula. As mentioned earlier, the French and Spanish shared Morocco, while the French also held Algeria. After World War I, France also ruled Tunisia and Syria as French mandates under the League of Nations. The Italians, who had seized Libya (Tripolitania) from the Ottoman Turks in 1912, also held part of Somaliland (the British held the rest), and conquered Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in 1935. It was liberated by British troops in 1942. The Italians and the British ruled in Somalia until July 1960, when it became an independent republic. (For the Marxist regime in Ethiopia, see below).

In the 19th century, the British and Russians vied for influence in Persia and Afghanistan. British historians call this "The Great Game." (For Afghanistan, see below).

From 1948 to 1993 was the confrontation between Israel and the Arab states. In September 1993, Yasir Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israeli Premier Yitzhak Shamir finally shook hands in the White House .

This conflict has its modern roots in World War I British promises of a Jewish homeland in Palestine (Balfour Declaration, 1917,) on the one hand, and of a united Arab state for the Arabs on the other. However, the roots go back to ancient times.The Jewish kingdom of David and Solomon was destroyed by the Assyrians and Babylonians (850-586 B.C.). Even earlier, the Jews began to scatter all over the world, forming the "diaspora." However, the Palestinian Jews put a good fight against the Romans, until the fall of the fortress of Masada in 73 A.D. Over time, Arabs came to form the majority of the population, but Jewish settlers appeared in the late 19th century. They followed the teaching of Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), the founder of Zionism. Under the impact of anti-Semitic pogroms in Russia, as well as of the Dreyfus affair in France, Herzl taught that the Jews must have their own state. He decided that this state should be established in the old Jewish homeland, Palestine. The influx of Jews increased significantly when the region came under British rule as a the League of Nations mandate after World War I.

However, the Arabs, who made up the majority of the population, protested violently against the Jewish influx. Facing strong Arab resistance and the danger of all out war, the British government severely restricted Jewish immigration as of 1936. This was a great tragedy because Hitler's anti-Semitic policies lead to an exodus of Jews, first from Germany, then from Austria and Czechoslovakia, as Hitler took over these countries. About half of Europe's Jews, three million, lived in Poland when he conquered that country, and most perished along with other European Jews in German-run death camps. Many of Europe's Jews could have been saved if more had been allowed into Palestine. The country was too small to absorb more than a small number of Jewish refugees, but many others could have been absorbed by other countries. Unfortunately, Western governments did their best to keep out the Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, when there was still time to save them. Ultimately, around 6 million European Jews died in ghettoes and death camps set up by the Nazis during World War II, mostly in Poland, where most European Jews lived in 1939.. We should note that the Allies took no military action to stop the Holocaust; they even refused to bomb the railways leading to the death camps, or to carry out special bombing raids over Germany in retaliation for the death camps. We should, of course, also bear in mind that during the war, the Nazis killed millions of Slavs, especially Ukrainians, Russians, and Poles, and tried to exterminate the Gypsies.

In the immediate postwar period, the British continued to restrict Jewish immigration to Palestine However, after heavy fighting between British troops and Israeli freedom fighters organized in the Haganah (secret left wing military self-defensce organization, established 1920) and Irgun Cwai Leumi (radical offshoot of Haganah 1931-48), the state of Israel was established in May 1948. This state came into existence after the Arabs had rejected a proposal to divide Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The establishment of Israel lead to the first Arab-Israeli war, 1948, which was won by the Israelis. The second war, in 1956 - which was part of the Suez Canal war - and the third in 1967, likewise ended in Israeli victories and the annexation of further territory by Israel. In 1967, it acquired the preponderantly Arab-populated West Bank of the Jordan River. Thousands of Arabs were displaced after these wars, and most wound up in refugee camps. The fourth war, in 1973, was also won by Israel.

Neither Israel nor the Arab states becamecommunist, but the western powrs and the USSR supported one sided against the other in efforts to establish dominant influence in the oil rich region. After initially supporting the establishment of Israel, the Soviet Union threw its support to the Arab states, arming Egypt and Syria in particular, while the U.S. supported Israel. Thus, the Middle East became an area of U.S.-Soviet rivalry in the Cold War.

The Arab refugee camps spawned the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, lead by Yasir Arafat (b. 1929) since 1967. He received support from the USSR and its East European satellites as well as from the Arab states. After 1967, the PLO ensconced itself in Jordan, but was driven out in the 1970s, after which it transferred its headquarters to Lebanon, contributing to that country's endemic civil war. PLO raids on Israel led to two Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1979 and 1982. The latter included the massacre of PLO refugees in Shatila, carried out not by Israeli but by Lebanese troops, apparently with the assent of the Israeli High Command. In June 1991, the Lebanese army, supported by Syria, attacked and destroyed some PLO forces in southern Lebanon. Israeli forces launched several small raids into southern Lebanon since 1982 in retaliation to attacks by PLO terrorists.

Meanwhile, President Jimmy Carter (b.1924) managed to persuade Anwar Sadat (1918-1981) of Egypt and Menahem Begin (1913-1992) of Israel to sign the Camp David Agreements in September 1978, after which both countries signed a formal peace treaty on March 26, 1979. This marked the first and only breakthrough in the united Arab front against Israel, until September 1993. Sadat was assassinated by Islamic Fundamentalists in October 1981, but his successor, Hosni Mubarak, continued to recognize Israel.

Meanwhile, the PLO followed a policy of terrorism against Israel, both inside and outside that country. It was only in November 1988, that Arafat -- very likely pressed by Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev -- publicly recognized the state of Israel and declared the PLO aim was to establish a Palestinian state on mainly Arab-inhabited territory in Israel, i.e., the West Bank. This area was annexed by Jordan in 1950, then by Israel in the 1967 war. The Israelis built settlements on the West Bank, while the Arabs rioted against Israeli rule there in 1983-1993 (the Intifada). The PLO-Israeli agreement reached in September 1993, allows self-rule to the Arabs of the Gaza Strip and in the city of Jericho in the West Bank, with details to be worked out. Even this limited agreement, which is supposed to be just the first step to many others, is opposed by extremists on both sides. Nevertheless, it has been ratified by the Israeli parliament, and by leading Arab organizations. (1) It is quite obvious that the major factor in bringing about this agreement was the weakening and then the collapse of the USSR, which was the main supporter of the PLO, although the Arab oil states also gave considerable financial aid to the PLO. Thus, Yasir Arafat finally decided to accept piecemeal solutions of the Arab-Israeli dispute. After months of negotiations, the Arabs took over the administration of Jericho and the Gaza Strip in May 1994.

Unfortunately, there is still much opposition from both Arab and Israeli extremists to this agreement. Indeed, while extreme arabs oppose Araft's conciliatory policy toward Israel, the Israeli Prime Minister Yizthak Rabin, who stood for conciliating the PLO and thus limiting Jewish settlement on the West Bank, was assassinated by a young Israeli opponent in early November 1995. In 1997, the peace process pretty broke down because of Israeli construction of buildings for Jews in the eastern part of Jerusalem, regarded by the Arabs as their own, while the Jews see the whole city as theirs. There were more bomb attacks on Israeli civilians.


Of course, the key factor that made the Middle East a region of vital interest both to the United States and to the USSR was oil. Saudi Arabia has the largest oil reserves in the world, followed by Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran. After these, Russia and Mexico have equivalent estimated reserves, though recently Kazakhstan oil reserves are estimated to be the highest. . Oil is also found in the Sinai Peninsula, North Sea, Baltic Sea (Shale oil), Romania, U.S., Venezuela, and in some off shore areas of Vietnam and China..

Oil production in the Middle East began before World War II. It developed quickly in the 1950s and 1960s, leading to enormous wealth. Some Arab rulers used to improve life for their peoples, but invested much of it in Western business and property. The oil cartel, OPEC, limited oil production, which led to the oil crisis of 1973. In the 1970s, "petro dollars" deposited in Western banks were used for loans to the Soviet bloc states of Eastern Europe.

Western Europe depends on the Middle East for about 70% of its oil. Japan at first imported 90% of its oil from this area, but then reduced this amount by imports from other parts of the world. The United States generally imports about one-third of its oil from the area.

After the British withdrawal from the Middle East in the 1960s, the U.S. obtained dominant influence in the oil-producing Arab states. However, its relations with them have been greatly hampered by its support of Israel.

II. Nationalism and Communism in the Middle East.

While some independent states such as Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, at various times espoused socialistic programs, none of them ever became a communist state. The only such state in this region was the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, or PDRY.

The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.

Southern Yemen was under Ottoman rule from the mid-1500s, but after 1570, the decline of the empire gave power to the tribal sheiks. Britain took possession of the port of Aden in 1839, which became very important after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Aden became a Crown Colony in 1935, while the sheikhdoms became British Protectorates.

In the late 1950s, the British formed the Federation of Arab Emirates (FAES), but the region came within the sphere of the Yemeni-Egyptian-Saudi Pact in 1956. However, the Suez Canal War and Egypt's defeat in November of that year, prevented a federation from coming into being.

With the Middle East in ferment, a National Liberation Front (NLF), was formed in southern Yemen in 1963. It had a liberal-democratic wing under Qahtan al-Shaabi, and a left, Marxist wing under Abdul Fattah Ismail. Both were attracted to the Nasser-type of revolution. In fact, Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970) armed and trained the NLF cadres which began to fight Britain openly in October 1963.

By 1965, however, the left wing became disenchanted with Nasser's "bourgeois nationalism" and adopted a Marxist platform, while Egypt supported the rightists. Britain again tried to establish a federation, but the NLF won out over its rival, The Front for the Liberation of South Yemen (FLOSY). The People's Republic of South Yemen came into being on November 30, 1967, with Qahtan al-Shaabi as President. About 300,000 people fled from South to North Yemen.

The closing of the Suez Canal by Nasser in June 1967, ruined the port of Aden. Even when the canal reopened in 1975, the traffic was much smaller than in the past. For this and other economic reasons, South Yemen turned for help abroad. This help came largely from the Soviet bloc countries and China. The NLF was split on this issue. Furthermore, tribal rivalries and peasant poverty were constant problems.

Al-Shaabi and his supporters introduced land reform and tried to balance Soviet bloc aid with aid from the West, as well as from the conservative Arab states. At the same time, the leftists, led by Abdul Fattah Ismail, adopted a radical platform calling for the nationalization of industry and collectivization of the land. On June 22, 1968, Al-Shaabi was forced to resign and the country changed its name to the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY).

The left-dominated NLF set out to create "a new socialist society" in the PDRY, based on "scientific socialism." Nationalization and collectivisation took place. The major shift toward the Soviet bloc and China took place in 1969-70, and the two communist powers vied with each other for influence through economic aid. The Soviets at first granted loans at 25% interest, while the Chinese gave interest free loans repayable over 17-22 years. The Chinese concentrated on building roads, health facilities, and giving technical aid to agriculture. The USSR financed dams, wells, irrigation canals, etc. The GDR supplied light arms and organized the police, while Hungary financed a number of agricultural projects. (Of course, Soviet-bloc countries were forced to give this "help" by Moscow). When Soviet influence won out over Red China, the PDRY followed the Soviet foreign policy line.

In late June 1978, the smoldering rivalry between the two most prominent leaders, Salem Rubayi Ali and Abdul Fattah Ismail burst into the open. Ismail won the struggle, in which casualty estimates ranged between 600 and 15,000. The PDRY existed until spring 1990, thanks only to Soviet aid. Its government tried and failed to change the traditional Islamic society of the country. In fact, it had to tolerate the Islamic religion as well as a small private sector in the economy, and the old tribal structure of the country.

Of course, the Soviet Union supported the PDRY because of its strategic importance, due mainly to the port of Aden, which dominates the southern exit from the Red Sea. Together with dominant Soviet influence in Somalia, and later Ethiopia, the PDRY gave the Soviets a firm foothold in the Horn of Africa. However, when Gorbachev reassessed Soviet conflicts of interest with the U.S. and the cost of Soviet liabilities around the world, he decided to cut Soviet aid both to PDRY and to Col. Mengistu Meriam in Ethiopia (see below). Thus, in November 1989, when communist regimes were collapsing in Eastern Europe, the leaders of the PDRY agreed to unite with South Yemen, of which it had been a part 300 years earlier. The unification took place on May 22, 1990, and resulted in the formation of the Republic of Yemen. (2) This union was, however, tenuous at best, and the tensions between northern and southern leaders erupted into war in May 1994. The northern forces won the war in June, and offered a reconciliation plan. In September, Islamic Fundamentalists won six seats in the new cabinet.

The Soviet Union showed great interest in Oman because of its strategic importance It touches the western side of the Straits of Hormuz, the eastern side being controlled by Iran. In 1965-76, there was Yemeni-inspired rebellion in Dhofar. It was put down with the aid of British officers and equipment.

III. Nationalism and Communism in Africa.

There used to be five communist states in Africa -- Angola, Benin, the Congo, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Of these, the most developed and longest communist system came to exist in Ethiopia, which lies in the Horn of Africa.

a. Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has an area of 472,432,000 sq. miles. It is a poor country with a predominantly rural economy and population. With Eritrea, before 1993, it had a population of some 57 million and a per capita income of $400 (1995) with an estimated literacy rate of 15%.

This is the oldest state in Africa, with a recorded history of 2,000 yrs. The population is descended from the Hamitic Asian and Semitic peoples. As of mid 1995, the population numbered 56 million; it is made up of the Oromo, 40%, the Amhara, 25%, the Tigre, 12% and the Sidama, 9% In religion, Coptic Christians and Moslems are about 40% each, with Christians predominating in Ethiopia and Moslems in the Ogaden. The dominant languages are Amharic (official), Orominga, and Tigrigna; the total numbe of languages spoken is 70.

The country was ruled by Emperor Haile Selassie (1892-1975) from 1924 to 1974, except for the Italian occupation in the years 1935-1942. It was a closed country with a feudal system. In fact, the Imperial Palace and the Ethiopian Orthodox (Coptic) Church owned about 80% of the arable land, while the peasants and farmers had no legal, economic, or political rights. They had to pay up to 50% of their produce as rent to the landlords. The landed elite, i.e., the aristocracy, were predominantly Amhara.

After World War II, opposition to Haile Selassie was led by students and by intellectuals educated in the West. A civil war broke out and famine struck in 1973-74, taking some 200,000 lives. Selassie concealed it from the outside world so as not to "lose face." In February 1974, dissident military forces took over some towns and besieged government buildings in the capital, Addis Ababa.

As the emperor made concessions, the opposition movement grew. In May, 1974, the military leaders criticized the land reform as too slow, and demanded the dismissal of a large number of political figures. A Constitutional Convention met to draw up a constitution, which was to include key political reforms. At this point, a 120-man Military Coordinating Committee known as Dergue (Amharic for Committee) emerged to lead the opposition. As in Russia, 1917, the Dergue was at first elected democratically by army units. Again, as in Russia, 1917, the liberals wanted a constitutional monarchy with power vested in a democratically elected parliament And again as in 1917 Russia, the radicals wanted the removal of the emperor and a complete restructuring of the political and economic system. The emperor was finally deposed on September 12, 1974. (He was put under house arrest in one room of his palace and died August 27, 1975, aged 83. His body was found and reburied in 1991).

The Dergue created a Provisional Military Administration Committee (PMAC) and took power. Left-wing and liberal students and intellectuals, plus some labor leaders, opposed the takeover and were repressed, as was the right-wing opposition. Inside the Dergue, there was also conflict between moderate liberals and Marxists. In December 1974, the Marxists won out and proclaimed Ethiopia a socialist state. The leader of the PMAC, Aman Michael Andom, was executed, and within three years so were over half of the original Dergue. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam, a Marxist, accumulated power in his hands. The shift of power from the center to the left was reminiscent of Russia in 1917 and of the Bolshevik seizure of power in November that year.

Mengistu was born in 1941, in Addis Ababa, into a family of the lower class Shenkalla people, which served the Amharic upper class. He became a Second Lieutenant in 1959, and later travelled to the U.S., where he studied industrial economics at the University of Maryland. He is said to have been embittered by the racial discrimination he encountered in the U.S. As a member of the Shenkalla, he hated the Amhara ruling class of Ethiopia. His racial and political attitudes were probably influenced by his racial origin and resentment of his mother's mistreatment as a servant by an Amharic family. He led a military revolt in 1960, but his life was spared by the emperor.

Beginning in early 1975, the now Marxist Dergue proceeded to nationalize banks, insurance companies, larger manufacturing enterprises, most urban property, and the land. On the land, the Dergue used force to organize peasant associations and cooperatives. It also began to establish free health facilities and education, and provided housing for the urban poor. However, these benefits were sporadic and uneven.

In April 1976, the Dergue proclaimed a "Program for the National Democratic Revolution," which made a firm commitment to build "scientific socialism." Among other things, this meant a push to establish state and collective farms on the Soviet model. The peasants suffered grievously; their houses were destroyed, while their cooperatives did not get the water, machinery, and social services promised by the government. Agricultural production declined disastrously.

The Dergue crushed opposition groups, including moderate Marxists, who wanted a civilian government. Thousands were killed and the opposition was crushed by January 1978. Religion was also repressed. Here we should note that 40% of the population belonged to the Ethiopian Orthodox, or Coptic, Church; 40% belonged to Islam, while 15% practiced traditional, i.e., native cults.

The U.S. had been the first patron of the Dergue -- as it had been of Haile Selassie. However, this relationship began to break down for several reasons: the increasingly communist profile of the government; its use of force to produce political change; and most of all, its massive violation of human rights both in Ethiopia, also in the fighting between Dergue forces on the one hand, and the separatist independence movements in Tigre (or Tigray), Eritrea, and Somalia on the other. In summer 1977, the Somalis -- at that time allied to and supported by the Soviets -- overran Ethiopian positions in the Ogaden, which they claimed as Somali territory. In that year, Mengistu became head of state and the country took the name of the People's Republic of Ethiopia. (3) Meanwhile, in 1976, President Jimmy Carter declared he would impose sanctions on Ethiopia to enforce human rights. When his warnings were ignored, he decided to cut off military supplies. This led Mengistu to turn to the USSR and Cuba, to which Carter replied by threatening to support the Somalis.

In October 1977, the Soviets decided to abandon the Somalis and threw their support to Mengistu's Ethiopia. Soviet advisers and some 15,000 Cuban troops (airlifted by Soviet planes), helped the Ethiopians push the Somalis out of the Ogaden. The U.S. then aided the Somalis, as well as the Sudan and Kenya, which supported them. Carter's National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, had advised the President ahead of time to send an aircraft carrier force to the Horn of Africa, so that the U.S. could exert some influence on developments there, but this was not done. (4)

Mengistu fought the secessionists in Tigre and Eritrea. On September 10, 1984, a communist regime was proclaimed in Ethiopia, with Mengistu as head of state and party leader. In 1986, Ethiopia suffered the worst famine in over a decade; many countries sent food, while the Soviet bloc states contributed transportation within Ethiopia. However, the appalling communications as well Mengistu's interdiction of food transports to the secessionists in Tigre and Eritrea, meant that many starved to death. Finally, while the drought was the main cause for the famine, Mengistu's inefficient and wasteful collectivization made the food shortages that much worse. (5)

The strongest rebel group facing Mengistu was the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), dominated by Tigreans. This began as a peasant revolt in the northern province of Tigre (Tigray) adjoining Eritrea. Nevertheless, the EPRDF was originally led by Marxists, who saw their model in Joseph Stalin, or in Stalinist Albania. After long and bitter fighting, the EPRDF took the Eritrean capital of Asmara in late 1990, and on May 28, 1991, they entered the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Mengistu had no more Soviet aid and fled, along with some of his troops to Sudan, while the troops and officials remaining in the capital surrendered to the EPRDF. At the same time, a separatist Eritrean guerrilla movement, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, took power in Eritrea.

The U.S. brokered a peace in London between the EPRDF and Ethiopian exiles in Europe. However, there was great disagreement on whether Ethiopia is to be a unitary state, or a federation, or break up into several states. The disagreement stems from the fact that the population of Ethiopia is divided into some 70 different ethnic groups, which speak more than 100 languages. The traditional ruling people, the Amhara, want a unified Ethiopia, as do the Tigreans; however, the Eritreans and Somalis have long fought for independence.

The key problem facing Somalia in 1991-93 was a devastating famine. A U.N. force, including U.S. troops, was sent there in 1993, to oversee U.N. food distribution, which had been disrupted by warring tribal chiefs, who seized food and bolstered their own power while millions were dying. The victorious warlord, who defeated his rival, Mohamed Siad Barre, in May 1991, was General Mohamed Farah Aideed. Aideed's well-armed supporters ambushed and killed U.N. troops, including Americans, in and around the capital of Mogadishu, because food was the basis of his power, and he did not intend to give it up after winning it from Siad Barre. Both Barre and Aideed were totally ruthless and corrupt. The loss of American lives made U.S. public opinion demand the withdrawal of our troops, and they left Somalia. Unless Aideed becomes a reformed character, he will go on fighting the tribal chiefs and millions will starve again in Somalia. (See: Jennifer Parmelee, "The World is Waltzing with Warlords," Washington Post National Weekly Edition, June 28-July 4, 1993, p. 25). The last U.S. marines left in March 1995.

Somalia is now an independent state, and so is Eritrea.

b. Angola.

Angola, formerly the People's Republic of Angola has an area of 481,350 sq. miles and a population of 11,500,000 (est. mid- 1995). It is divided into 9 ethno-linguistic groups; about 38% of the people are Roman Catholic, 15% are Protestant and some 47% follow native cults.

The official language is Portuguese, but Bantu is spoken by a large part of the population. The country is rich in agricultural and mineral resources. The per capita income was $1,030 in 1982, but with economic stagnation it had declined to an $600 in 1987 and was still about the same in 1993. With its capital in Luanda situated on the Atlantic coast, Angola is an important transit route to the Atlantic Ocean for landlocked Zambia and Zaire.

Angola was under Portuguese rule after its discovery by Diego Cao in 1482. After World War II, the independence movement grew, spurred by an increased influx of Portuguese immigrants who competed for low-skilled jobs with Africans in the towns. "The Party for the United Struggle of the Africans in Angola" was founded in 1953, but was overshadowed by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola, or MPLA).

The key MPLA leaders were Agostinho Neto and Amilcar Cabral. Many leaders were arrested by the Portuguese secret police and tried in 1960, which led to the outbreak of armed struggle against the Portuguese. However, the MPLA could not reach agreement with two other armed movements: the FNLA (Front for National Liberation of Angola) and UNITA (Unity), which were based on tribal affiliations. At first both China and the USSR supported the MPLA, but China later switched its support to the strongest opposition movement, UNITA, as did the U.S.

In October 1974, there was a revolution in Portugal and the new government recognized Angola's right to independence, which was proclaimed in January 1975, and Neto was enthusiastically welcomed in Luanda. However, the transitional government soon broke down. Zaire and South Africa began to support the opposition, i.e., the FNLA or National Liberation Front of Angola, and UNITA, or United National Front of Angola. Covert U.S. support through the CIA for UNITA ended after the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam in 1975. It was prohibited by the Clark Amendment. However, this support was renewed under President Reagan in February 1986.

On November 11, 1975, Neto proclaimed the People's Republic of Angola and became president. Cuban troops arrived in late 1975 and routed the Zairian and South African forces. China continued to support the opposition, the FNLA and UNITA. In October 1976, the MPLA moved toward "scientific socialism" (communism), and established a party school to train its cadres. In December 1977, the MPLA Workers' Party came into being. Education was reorganized with a large amount of Marxist doctrine.

Economic measures, however, while tending toward nationalization, were rather cautious. The government encouraged the establishment of cooperatives for farming and retail trade in basic foodstuffs alongside state shops. This moderation was probably due to the fact that the major source of foreign income came from petroleum exports, operated mainly by the American Gulf Oil Corporation. Other sources of income were diamond mines and coffee (exports). (6)

Three years after Gorbachev came to power in the USSR, an agreement was reached between Washington and Moscow on October 9, 1988 for the withdrawal of Cuban troops within 24-30 months; also, South Africa was to grant independence to Namibia. The treaties were signed on December 22nd that year, and guaranteed by the U.S. and USSR. These accords were in keeping with Gorbachev's policy of removing irritants in U.S.-Soviet relations. Here we should note that the tying of Cuban withdrawal to South African assent to the independence of Namibia -- where the insurgent Marxist Southwest African Liberation Movement, SWAPO, had been fighting for independence since 1966 -- was formulated by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Chester A. Crocker in 1981. Also worth noting is the fact that Cuban troops and MPLA forces had tried hard to obtain a military victory over UNITA in powerful offensives in 1985 and 1987, but failed. At the same time, South African forces suffered more losses than the South Africa government was willing to bear. All these factors helped Crocker and Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly L. Adamshin to work out the final agreement as described above.

The last Cuban troops left Angola in summer 1991. The key question was whether a political settlement could be reached between Angolan President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos (who succeeded Neto on his death in 1979), and the leader of the UNITA forces, Jonas Savimbi, who had been supported by South Africa, China, and the U.S. In September 1992, Dos Santos beat Savimbi in a presidential election that was judged fair by the United Nations. However, Savimbi refused to accept the results and fighting broke out again, thus resuming the civil war. In September 1993, the U.N. placed an embargo on oil and arms sales to UNITA. While government troops seemed to be winning in October, the war was costing lives daily and had created some two million refugees. (See Paul Taylor, The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, October 4-10, 1993, p. 16). In early May, 1995, Savimbi and Santos met in Lusaka and the country began to settle down. However, in 1996-97, their old conflict seemed far from over.

c. Mozambique.

This country, formerly the People's Republic of Mozambique occupies the territory of Portuguese East Africa. It has an area of 303,073 sq. miles, a population of about 17,400,000 (est. mid-1995), an estiamed per capita income of $600.00 per annum, and a literacy rate of about 17%. As in Angola, the official language is Portuguese, but most of the people speak Bantu. The capital is Maputo.

Mozambique was under Portuguese influence since the 1500s, and under direct Portuguese rule since the late 19th century. The Portuguese President and dictator, Antonio de Oliviera Salazar, crushed all dissent both at home and abroad during his 39 year rule from 1929 to 1968.

A ten year war of liberation took place between 1964-74, led by the Front of Liberation of Mozambique, or FRELIMO. Its most prominent leader was Marcelino dos Santos, who discovered Marxism as a student in Portugal. At the outset, however, Frelimo was not a Marxist movement, but stood for independence. Still, the grinding poverty of the mostly rural population naturally led the activists into the countryside. A key leader, Edouardo Mondlane, studied both in Portugal and the U.S. He then visited China in 1963, and was convinced that the Chinese model of communism applied to Africa.

Increasing Soviet and Chinese aid exerted a dominant influence in steering Frelimo toward a Marxist program. In 1968, the second Congress adopted the standard communist party organization. Mondlane was assassinated in February 1969, perhaps because he opposed a radical Marxist program. Soon thereafter, Samora Machel, the commander of the Frelimo guerrilla army, emerged as president and eliminated his rivals.

Frelimo was the only African liberation movement to receive consistent aid from both Moscow and Peking, who were competing with each other for the control of this region. It also received non-military aid from Western countries, mainly Sweden, which made some investments. The Portuguese revolution of 1974 ended the war in Mozambique, as it did in Angola. After a nine-month transitional period, The People's Republic of Mozambique was proclaimed on June 25, 1975.

The new government introduced reforms in health and education, but never achieved economic success. The backward country was hampered by the closing of the frontier by Rhodesia in 1976, as well as the chaos ensuing from the exit of skilled Portuguese settlers. The chief exports are cashews, tea, sugar, sisal, tea and cotton, but bad harvests forced the government to import food after 1977.

The original Chinese preponderance in aid was replaced by the USSR and Cuba when Mozambique signed a 20 year cooperation and friendship pact with Moscow in 1977. However, in the fall of that year, high-level government delegations visited China and signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation with Beijing.

In 1980, the Mozambique government began fighting a punishing guerrilla war in which the opposing force, the Mozambique Resistance Movement, RENAMO, was supported mainly by South Africa. The latter also cut off rail transport for workers who used to work in South African gold and diamond mines. On top of all this, the years of drought that have plagued Africa, also affected Mozambique causing widespread famine.

However, under U.S. pressure, South Africa concluded an agreement with Mozambique in 1984, whereby the latter expelled the African National Congress exiles it had sheltered, while the South African government pledged to cease supporting RENAMO. Unfortunately, RENAMO continued the fight. Therefore, the neighboring states as well as Great Britain helped rebuild the FRELIMO army and the U.S. sent some food and technical aid in 1983-84. In 1988, South Africa initiated bilateral talks with Mozambique and the war began to wind down, though sporadic fighting continued. (7)

As the Frelimo leadership abandoned Marxism, peace prospects improved. A peace treaty was signed in Rome by the Renamo and Frelimo leaders in October 1992. Most Renamo fighters were to be absorbed in a national army, and elections were to be held in mid-1994. However, Renamo leaders proceeded to build up support by handing out food through the traditional network of tribal chiefs and "healers." The elections held in October 1994 gave victory to the Frelimo party.

d. Benin.

The Republic of Benin, formerly The People's Republic of Benin (earlier Dahomey), lies on the Gulf of Guinea and covers an area of 43,483,000 sq. miles, or about the size of Tennessee. It has an estimated population of about 5,400,000 (mid-1995), made up of 5 ethnic groups, with a per capita income of $340 in1986, which rose to $1.200.000 in 1995), and a literacy rate of 23%. The languages are French and 5 African languages. Native cults are practiced by 70% of the population, while the remainder is evenly divided between Moslems and Christians.

This area -- then the Kingdom of Abomey -- was annexed by France in 1893 and incorporated into French West Africa in 1904. In 1958, it became an autonomous republic within the French Community and was granted independence in it in August 1960, taking the name of Dahomey. This was changed to Benin in 1975.

In October 1972, power was seized by Lt. Col. Mathieu Kerekou, who became president. He radicalized the military, and set the country on a socialist (communist) course.

Kerekou was born in 1931, as a member of the minority Somba ethnic group. He received military training and was a supporter of Major Maurice Koundete. Kerekou began his rise to power after the Koundete's coup of 1967. Kerekou then became Vice-President, and soon President of the Revolutionary Military Committee. He then attended senior staff officer courses in France. In July 1970, he became Chief of Staff under Col. Paul Emile Souza. He seized power in October 1972.

Two years later, in 1979,Kerekou proclaimed Dahomey to be a Marxist-Socialist state. He nationalized the economy, which led to the drying up of foreign investment, except from France. He tried to mobilize the population to produce more, but without success. Meanwhile, inflation and unemployment plagued the country while a bloated civil service ate up 80% of the budget. However, France, which wanted to retain its influence in the country, covered the deficit. Kerekou faced opposition from various groups, the strongest of which was the "Front for the Liberation and Rehabilitation of Dahomey."

Despite Kerekou's Marxist program, most of the aid coming into the country came from capitalist France, while foreign trade was mostly with Western countries as well. This was largely due to the fact that aside from Benin's mainly agricultural exports, it also has some mineral resources, including some off-shore oil. (8)

Economic stagnation, plus lack of Soviet interest in Benin and Western opposition to his policies, then the winding down of the Cold War, led Kerekou to declare in December 1989 that Marxism-Leninism would no longer be the state ideology. However, this did not help him stay in power. He stepped down as President in 1990, was replaced by Nicephore Soglo, but returned to power in April 1996..

e. The Congo.

The Republic of the Congo lies astride the Equator in West Central Africa. It has an area of 132,046,000 sq. miles and a, estimated population of 2,500,000 (est. mid-1995). It is made up of 3 ethnic groups, of which the largest is the Bakongo. The official literacy rate in 1995 was given as 48%. In 1995, the per capita income was $600,00 . The capital is Brazzaville. The country has a great variety of natural resources and trades mainly with France, U.S., Italy, Spain, and Brazil. It was taken over by France in 1887. Together with Gabon and Ubangi-Shari, the area constituted French Equatorial Africa, established in 1910. It supported the Free French in World War II and became independent in 1960, as a member of the French Community.

The first ruler of the independent state was a defrocked priest, Foulbert Youlou, whose policies aroused widespread opposition. The army seized power under Col. Alphonse Massemba-Debat in August 1963; he proclaimed the country to be a Marxist-Leninist state.

No great changes took place however, and in 1968 Debat was overthrown by Major Marien Ngouabi. Under his rule, which lasted until 1977, little was done to reduce the country's dependence on France. In March 1975, Ngouabi signed an agreement on technical and economic aid with the USSR. He nationalized several sectors of the economy. However, they were so badly run that deficits piled up and French help became more necessary than ever. The same old ills that plagued Stalinist economic models afflicted the Congo, and the Congo Workers' Party was blamed.

Internal disputes led to Ngouabi's assassination in March 1977. Some time later, Col. Debat was executed. Gen. Yhombi-Opango ruled until February 1979, when he was purged and succeeded by Col. Denis Sassou Nguesso, who became President. In the meanwhile, in June 1977, the Congo resumed relations with the U.S., but Nguesso drew closer to the USSR and a socialist constitution was passed in 1979.

When communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, and Soviet aid dried up, the state renounced Marxist ideology in 1990. In 1991, embraced the free market and democracy. (9)

However, the election results of 1993 were contested and fighting broke out. A cease fire was arranged by international arbitration in March 1994.

We should note that in summer 1997, Zaire, formerly called the Congo, again became the Congo after a left-wing leader, Laurent Kebila, fought his way to power there against the old, sick, and corrupt President Mobutu Sesse Seko, who had been in power since Niovember 1965. Mobutu died soon thereafter, and Kebila seems unwilling to share power with former opposition parties.


It is clear that none of the communist states of Africa and the Middle East was an economic success story. The USSR and Cuba (as Moscow's proxy) gave significant support only to Ethiopia, the PDRY and Angola. This support was given for strategic reasons and others received much less attention. Finally, with the weakening and then collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the USSR, and the USSR itself in 1989-91, the African states which had adopted communism also gave it up.

We should bear in mind that the Soviet Union also tried to dominate Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. However, the Egyptian relationship with Moscow ended with the expulsion of Soviet advisers by Anwar Sadat in 1972, who then turned toward the U.S. In any case, Soviet aid to Syria and Iraq did not make them satellites of Moscow. Likewise, Col. Muammar Qaddafi who seized power in Libya in September 1969, and established the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamihiriya, collaborated with the USSR, but his war against Chad (1980-87) made him less of an asset than an embarrassment to Moscow. There were terrorist training camps in Libya, mostly for Arabs. Quaddafi most likely organized the bombing attacks on the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, and there was a brief exchange of fire between Libya and the U.S. in March 1986. As we know, Libya was involved in the destruction of an American airliner over Lockerby, Scotland, in December 1988. As of September 1993, Quaddafi declared readiness to send two prime Libyan suspects to Scotland if they were guaranteed a "fair trial," but it seems rather unlikely that he will release them for trial anywhere.

South Africa.

There were no communist states in this region. However, the struggle of the Black majority against the ruling white minority led some black leaders to take an interest in communism, and also to some communist support for the major Black movement, the African National Congress, or ANC.

It is, of course, untrue that the ANC was ever a tool of Moscow, as white extremists claimed for years. However, while keeping a low profile, the USSR gave it some support. Thus, the chief military organizer of the ANC outside South Africa was Joe Slowo, a Marxist who emigrated to South Africa as a child from Lithuania. In the late 1980s, his smart, blue-uniformed troops chanted his name and sported plastic cards with the picture of Lenin, but Slowo claimed that he was not in Soviet pay. [10] However, he did not say who provided the money. After release from prison in 1989, ANC leader Nelson Mandela appeared at some ANC rallies side by side with Slowo. At the same time, some younger ANC leaders and supporters seemed to believe that socialism is the way of the future. They were attracted to nationalization and central economic planning as a fast way to raise the abysmally low living standard of the African people. However, they may be having second thoughts after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the USSR. The victory of the African National Congress led by Nelson Mandela in May 1994 has begun a new era in South African history, but its racial, tribal, and economic problems are by no means over. Indeed, a solution seems very far off.


IV. Afghanistan.

Afghanistan covers an area of 250,000 sq. miles, or about the area of Texas. It is divided into north and south by the Hindu-Kush mountain range. Most of the country is mountainous with plains and deserts in the south and west. It is a landlocked state which borders the USSR in the north, Iran in the west, and Pakistan in the south; it also has a narrow border wedge with China in the east. In mid-1990, it had an estimated population of 16 million, which it had increased to about 18,5000 by mid-1995.It is divided into several peoples of whom the Pashtuns have always been the dominant group. In the north, the population includes Uzbeks and Tajiks, who also live in Uzebkistan and Tajikistan, formerly Soviet, but now independent republics. The official languages are Pashtu and Dari, but after the invasion of December 1979, the USSR developed Uzbek and Tajik education and literature in the regions populated by these peoples. Most Afghans are Sunni Muslims, but there are sizable minorities of Shia and Ismaili Muslims.

The country is predominantly rural, but has significant natural resources in the north, i.e., natural gas, coal, copper, iron, barite, chrome and lapis lazuli. Petroleum and uranium deposits have also been reported. The USSR built gas pipelines from Shebergan to former Soviet Turkmen and Tajik Soviet Republics; in fact, seemed to be planning an economic union of this part of Afghanistan with the USSR, but as we know, that state disintegrated in late 1991. The Russian Federal Republic continues to have an active interest in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's strategic location always played a key part in its history.. The Persian King, Darius, and the Greek Alexander the Great both conquered Afghanistan as the gateway to India. Islamic conquerors took over the country in the 7th century A.D. In the 13th and 14th centuries, it was conquered by the Mongol emperors, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Afghanistan was the scene of Russo-British rivalry - called "The Great Game" - because it was, and is, the northern gateway to India. For the Russian Empire, then the USSR, and now the Russian Federation, it iwas and is an important buffer zone in the south, also a potential springboard to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. The country, however fragmented, has always been hard or control or conquer. In the Afghan Wars of 1838-42 and 1878-81, Dost Muhammed and his son, were defeated by the British, who, however, were never able to establish control over the country. Nor for that matter, were the Russians. The Anglo-Russian agreement of 1907 awarded autonomy to Afghanistan. It gained independence in 1919, and became a kingdom in 1926 under Emir Amanullah.

Amanullah tried to implement an ambitious program of modernization, including education for girls as well as boys, and worked to end the seclusion and the veiling of women. He also drew up the first constitution; guaranteed civil rights; established a legislative assembly; rationalized the tax structure; and introduced a new currency. However, all these reforms -- inspired mostly by Kemal Ataturk's reforms in Turkey -- encountered great resistance from the religious and tribal leaders of what was -- and still is -- a largely tribal, Moslem, society. This resistance led to an alliance between the mullahs and the tribal chiefs, supported by the army. Together, they brought about the fall of Amanullah, who fled the country in January 1929 and settled in Italy.

After a few months of chaos when the Tajik leader, Habibubullah, tried to rule, he was replaced by Muhammed Nadir Shah, who was king from 1929 to 1933. He managed to reunite the country and build roads. He was shot in 1933 by a young rebel, and was succeeded by his young son, then a child. Muhammed Zahir Shah ruled for 40 years, from 1933 to 1973. In the interwar period, Afghanistan balanced between Great Britain and the USSR. During World War II and immediately thereafter, it received much U.S. aid; however, from 1955 onward most economic aid came from Moscow. This took the form of road and airport construction, machinery, arms, credits, etc. This leaning toward Moscow was partly the result of old trade ties, but primarily of the feud between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the border region between them, Pushtunistan. This area has a large Afghan population, but became part of Pakistan when that country was established in 1948. From that time on, the United States supported Pakistan, while the USSR supported India (since Khrushchev). Moscow also developed good relations with Afghanistan.

Marxist politics in Afghanistan began in the years 1949-52. At that time, Prime Minister Shah Mahmud liberalized the political system. He allowed elections in 1949, with the participation of political opposition groups. Students at Kabul University began to debate politics. Two future Marxist leaders, Nur Muhammed Taraki and Babrak Karmal, were active in the student movement at this time. However, Shah Mahmud ended the liberal experiment in 1951-52, and some of the students became left-wing radicals. The King's first cousin and brother-in-law Daoud became Prime Minister in 1953 and held that post until 1963. Daoud had been educated in the West and set out to modernize the country. He moved cautiously toward the emancipation of women and increased central control over the tribes.

Daoud tried to balance between the U.S. and the USSR, but his goal of incorporating all of Pushtunistan led to increasing dependence on Moscow. Increased Soviet aid began with a $3.5 million loan in 1954. After the Khrushchev-Bulganin visit in December 1955, it increased to $100 million, which was earmarked for economic development. Before the end of the year, the old nonaggression treaty with the USSR was extended for 10 years. Also, the Soviet bloc gave $25 million worth of military aid. Continued Afghani incursions into Pakistan led to a break in relations in 1961, and increased their dependence on Moscow. In March 1963, King Zahir Shah asked Daoud to resign. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Muhammud Yousuf, a non-Pashtun. He was a German-educated technocrat who had served as Minister of Mines and Industries. The single greatest achievement of the decade 1963-73 was the constitution of September 20, 1964, worked out mainly by the King. Signed by the Loya Jirgah, or national assembly, it provided for a bicameral legislature, but left predominant power to the King. The 1965 election was relatively fair, including both left and right groups, whose deputies sat in the lower house.

It was in this favorable situation that the People's Democratic Party of Aghanistan, or PDPA, was established on January 1, 1965. It was not an typical Marxist party, but a union of various left-wing groups in order to gain parliamentary seats in the election. Taraki was one of the four PDPA members elected and founded the first major leftist newspaper, the KHALQ (Masses). However, it lasted only a month before it was closed down. By 1969, the PDPA split, when Babrak Karmal's faction parted from Taraki. Karmal's faction established a newspaper, Parcham, (Banner), which lasted from March 1968 to July 1969. However, from now on, the PDPA was divided into Taraki's Khalq and Babrak Karmal's Parcham. Each faction was based on tribal affiliations.

Daoud overthrew King Muhammed Zahir Shah on July 17, 1973, with support from elements of the PDPA, especially Babrak's Parcham faction, but the coup was carried out by junior officers trained in the USSR. Daoud proclaimed a republic with himself as President. He tried to balance Soviet influence with aid from Iran, obtaining a large loan from the Shah. This worried the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who, during Daoud's visit to Moscow in April 1977, allegedly warned him to get rid of all "imperialist" advisers. Daoud allegedly slammed his fist on the table and walked out. (11)

In summer 1977, the two feuding Marxist-Leninist factions, the Khalq and the Parcham, suddenly reunited in the People's Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). It is clear that they did so on orders from Moscow, but their rivalry was only muted for the time being. In 1977-78, a series of political assassinations took place, the final one being that of the Parcham ideologue Mir Akbar Khyber in April 1978. The PDPA blamed the CIA and organized a mass demonstration at Khyber's funeral. Daud put down the demonstration, but took no other action. Even the key leftist officer, Hafizullah Amin, was only put under house arrest.

On April 26, 1978, a coup by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, led by Nur Muhammed Taraki, head of the Marxist Democratic Party, overthrew Daud, who was assassinated along with his family. The new government, in which Hafizullah Amin was foreign minister, was immediately recognized by the Soviet Union. However, we now know that Taraki's coup caught the Kremlin by surprise, and Moscow had even warned him against carrying out a coup. (See Michael Dobbs, "The Soviet Vietnam. How, Against the Kremlin's Wishes, It Was Sucked into Afghanistan," The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, November 23-29, 1992, p. 6).

Taraki, the Khalq leader, now took revenge on the Parchams. Among other things, he exiled Babrak Karmal, who was given asylum in Czechoslovakia. Taraki signed a whole series of agreements with the USSR and began to "build socialism." He alienated the population by such measures as sharing out land that had been owned in common by groups of families, and to which farmers were forcibly transferred without tools and water. He also forced devout Moslems to attend political education classes in which their religion was insulted and ridiculed. Finally, traditional tribal leaders had always opposed any kind of interference from Kabul. Thus it was not surprising that revolts broke out by 1979. They took the form of guerrilla warfare in the name of "Jihad," or Holy War for the Moslem faith against the infidel government. The guerrillas were soon joined by many deserters from the army. The rebels called themselves "Mujahedeen," or fighters of the Holy War.

In February 1979, U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs was kidnapped and killed in a shoot out between his kidnappers and the police, who were commanded by Soviet officers. The Soviets, of course, blamed the CIA.

Documents from recently opened Russian archives give fascinating insights into Soviet policy toward Afghanistan in 1979. They show that on March 18, 1979, Taraki phoned the Kremlin pleading for help. His regime was very unpopular and in danger of falling. He asked Moscow to send Soviet troops to relieve a Mujahedeen siege of Herat. On March 20th, Taraki arrived in Moscow at the head of a delegation. He was told at the Kremlin that the Soviet authorities would help him. However,Kosygin said they believed it would be a "fatal mistake" to commit ground troops, for this would "outrage the international community, triggering a string of extremely negative consequences in many different areas." Kosygin said Soviet leaders believed that the enemies of the USSR were just waiting for Soviet troops to come in for an excuse to send "armed bands" into the country. Furthermore, Soviet troops would have to struggle also with the Afghan people, and they would never forgive them. (Transcript of Taraki talks in the Kremlin, March 1978, cited by Dobbs, Washington Post, Ibid., pp. 6-7). At this time, U.S. intelligence reported increased Soviet military activity in the Soviet republics bordering on northern Afghanistan. In March, the U.S. warned Moscow against intervention.

From other sources we know that in April 1979, Gen. Alexei Yepishev, head of the Soviet Army's Political Directorate -- who had played a major role in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 -- visited Afghanistan and supervised a massacre of anti-government guerrillas in Kerala, northeast of Kabul, because the population of Kerala was allegedly involved in a Mujahedeen massacre of Soviet advisers and their families in Herat. In August, Gen. Ivan Pavlovsky came with a delegation and stayed for two months. He had been a commander in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Meanwhile, huge arms supplies were coming in from the USSR. Also, by the end of the summer, 700 Soviet paratroopers, disguised as airport technicians, arrived at Kabul airport, ostensibly to defend a Soviet warplane squadron. Furthermore, Soviet "advisers" were attached to every Afghan military and security unit, down to battalion level. (On Soviet arms supplies, etc., see Dobbs, Ibid., p. 6).

In September, Taraki suddenly disappeared; later it was revealed that he had been assassinated by rival Marxists led by Hafizullah Amin. Apparently, Taraki had invited Amin to the Presidential Palace and ambushed him, but Amin shot his way out. He then took power and dismissed three pro-Soviet members of the Cabinet who sought refuge in the Soviet embassy, which apparently knew Taraki's plans. Still, Brezhnev and Kosygin sent their congratulations to Amin on September 14th. Now we know that the Soviet leaders never trusted Amin. Soviet documents also show that while the Soviet ambassador in Kabul, Alexander Puzanov, advised acceptance of Amin, the KGB station advised that Amin should be overthrown to restore unity in the ruling party. (Dobbs, Ibid.).

Amin set out to consolidate his power and to calm the population. Among other things, he announced an amnesty for Afghani refugees in Pakistan, provided they returned home. He lavished praise on the Soviet Union, but at the same time began to accept small amounts of aid from the West, including the U.S. It also appears that he was trying to establish relations with Khomeini of Iran. His situation was very precarious, since 22 out of the 27 provinces were in revolt against the government in Kabul.

In the fall of 1979, Washington received reports of a Soviet military buildup. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser, tried hard to have a warning sent to Moscow. However, he states that a SALT treaty was being negotiated and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance did not want to annoy the Russians. Brzezinski was very worried, since the Iranian revolution had forced the Shah into exile (February 1, 1979), and Khomeini's Iran could not be counted on to help Afghanistan in case of a Soviet threat. (12) As it happened, the U.S. protest against the Soviet buildup was not published until December 22nd.

By late October 1979, the Soviet leaders agreed with the advice of the KGB station in Kabul. Soviet documents show that on October 29th, the Politburo's Committee on Afghanistan warned that Amin was not only trying to purge the party and state of all opponents, but sought to follow a "more balanced" foreign policy, so his declarations of loyalty to Moscow were "insincere." This report was signed by Foreign Minister Gromyko, Defense Minister Ustinov, KGB chief Andropov, and Boris Ponomaryev, secretary in charge of relations with "fraternal parties." Since Brezhnev was too ill to make a decision, it seems that this group of leaders took the lead in shaping the policy that lead to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The preparations were thorough. KGB units were sent to infiltrate Afghanistan. Thus, the "Z" storm group was sent to Kabul in early November, allegedly to guard the Soviet embassy. In early December, the Politburo ordered a Soviet motorized infantry battalion to Kabul to "protect" Amin's residence. (Dobbs, Ibid.).

Russian officials said in late 1992 that the decision to invade was made at a special Politburo session chaired by Brezhnev on December 12, 1979. At that session, Brezhnev insisted that all full members of the Politburo sign the decision. All did so except Kosygin, who was absent, and is believed to have opposed the invasion. Gorbachev, who was then a non-voting member, claimed later that he had not been consulted. (Dobbs, Ibid.).

On the morning of December 27, 1979, the combined forces of the Z squad, the Alpha squad, and some Soviet paratroopers, about 1,000 men in all, stormed the Presidential Palace and killed Amin. (Dobbs quotes a "recent account" by a Soviet participant, Nikolai Berlev, in Komsomolskaya Pravda, but does not give the date, A.C.). On that day, the Poltiburo approved a letter of explanation to communist leaders. It justified the invasion by stating that the "achievements of the revolution were in danger of liquidation." Amin was replaced by Babrak Karmal, and on January 2, 1980, the Politburo formally authorized an increase of Soviet troops in Afghanistan up to 50,000 men, plus 2,000 KGB personnel. It also decided to exile the dissident scientist Andrei Sakharov and his wife to Gorki, because he was criticizing the invasion (Dobbs, Ibid.).

A Personal Reminiscence.

I remember the shock I felt at watching a TV report on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, on the evening of December 27 or 28, 1979. President Carter was indignant. He had not expected such a move from Brezhnev, who had worked with him to continue the U.S.-Soviet detente. Carter feared the Soviets would use Afghanistan as a base for seizing the Persian Gulf and its oil. Therefore, he declared the Persian Gulf to be a vital U.S. interest and imposed a grain embargo on the USSR. SALT talks were broken off. Brezhnev replied that Soviet forces had been "invited" to come in -- Babrak Kermal issued the invitation -- and accused the U.S. of "meddling" in Afghani affairs.

It is still unclear just what triggered the Politburo decision to overthrow Amin and commit Soviet troops, but there is no mention of a plan to use Afghanistan as a base for invading the Persian Gulf. It is more likely that Soviet leaders feared Amin would either switch loyalty to the U.S. or Iran, or be overthrown, after which a new leader would also end Afghani dependence on Moscow. Whatever the case may be , all the dangers that Kosygin had mentioned to Taraki in March 1978, as those the USSR wished to avoid, became reality. Soviet troops fought the Mujahedeen. They bombed and burned villages suspected of supporting Mujahedeen; they dropped anti-personnel mines and other explosive devices. They also poisoned the wells of villages suspected of Mujaheeen sympathies. At the same time, their helicopter gunships were very effective against the guerrillas - only until the latter obtained SAMs (surface-to-air) missiles from the U.S. via Pakistan. Then, the war became very costly for the USSR.

According to Soviet documents, the Soviet leadership, now headed by Gorbachev, decided to pull out of Afghanistan at a Politburo session held on November 13, 1986. Gromyko said that Soviet efforts to stop arms supplies from reaching the Mujahedeen via Pakistan had failed. Therefore, he said: "Today our strategic goal is to end the war." However, the war should "end in such a way that Afghanistan will be a neutral state." (Michael Dobbs, "Cutting the Gordian Knot: Why the Kremlin Retreated," The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, November 23-29, 1993, p. 8).

The replacement of Babrak Kermal by Gen. Mohammed Najibullah in November 1986, can be seen as the first step in the Politburo scheme mentioned above. Najibullah, the former head of the dreaded KHAD, or Security Police, had become the Secretary General of the Party in May. We can also assume some things that the Soviet documents do not say. Thus, it is very likely that Gorbachev decided to end the war since it was an irritant in Soviet-U.S. relations, which he wanted to improve so as to reach arms limitation agreements, and then secure the most modern technology for the USSR. Also, Soviet relations with Iran were very bad because of the war. Finally, for years China had demanded Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan as one of the conditions for improving relations with Moscow.

Thus, there were many factors besides cutting Soviet losses that made Gorbachev work for ending the war on the best possible terms for the USSR. After long negotiations, mediated by the U.N. Secretary General, Javez Perez Cuellar, and with the full support of the U.S. Government, the Geneva Accords were signed by the Afghani and Pakistani governments on April 14, 1988. The guarantors were the U.S. and the USSR.

Let us look closely at these agreements. The first one, signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan and called "Principles of Mutual Relations," bound the two governments to observe non-interference and non-intervention in each other's affairs. This really meant that Pakistan would cease transferring U.S. arms to the Mujahedeen fighting the Najibullah and Soviet forces inside Afghanistan. The Soviet military presence was not mentioned in the agreement.

The second bilateral agreement dealt with the "Voluntary Return of Refugees," to be completed in 18 months from the date of the agreement.

The withdrawal of uniformed Soviet forces was mentioned only in the fourth agreement, i.e., the bilateral Afghani-Pakistani agreement on "Interrelationships for the Settlement of the Situation Relating to Afghanistan." This agreement, witnessed by Secretary Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze, stated that half of the Soviet troops would withdraw by August 15, 1988, and the rest by February 15, 1989. There was no mention of numbers of troops, nor of the non-uniformed Soviet forces, i.e., advisers, including KGB agents, who virtually ran the Najibullah government in Kabul. Indeed, on April 28, Najibullah said the agreement did not cover Soviet advisers. The U.S. State Department declared that the Soviets had committed themselves to a complete military withdrawal, including advisers, but Washington did not say whether their continued presence would violate the accords Furthermoe, these accords did not specify any procedure for enforcing or verifying Soviet withdrawal. It is true that an unsigned annex specified that U.N. personnel was to monitor the withdrawal, but this personnel was to number at most 50 men, who were to assist the U.N. representative, and he had no powers of enforcement.

Finally, a brief additional statement was signed by Shultz and Shevardnadze, but was not part of the accords, which declared that if the USSR undertook to provide military assistance to parties in Afghanistan, the US retained the right to provide similar assistance.

In fact, it was Congressional pressure -- exerted in particular by Sen. Robert C. Bird -- which led to the separate Shultz-Shevardnadze statement on the U.S. retaining the right of supplying military aid to Afghani resistance if the USSR gave the same to Najibullah. At first, the Soviet government denounced the Senate's "symmetry" requirement for "obstructing the peace." Furthermore, the Soviets said they would continue aid to Kabul, claiming that this was legal under the Afghan-Soviet Friendship Treaty of 1921 (extended later). The Soviets also hinted to Pakistan that they would reactivate Afghani claims to territories on the northwestern Pakistani frontier, and would rouse opposition to Pakistani rule in Baluchistan. Finally, however, the Geneva Accords were signed on April 14, 1988, and were accompanied by the separate Shultz-Shevardnadze statement mentioned above. (13)

However, the Mujahedeen leaders opposed any agreement signed without their participation. President Zia ul-Haq of Pakistan also opposed the projected settlement at first. However, he was "persuaded" to support it by great Soviet pressure, which included a campaign of terrorism and subversion in Pakistan. Here we should recall that in August 1988, Zia ul-Haq died in a mysterious plane accident, along with the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and some U.S. military advisers. There is suspicion that the Soviets had a hand in this matter. Nevertheless, the new Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, confirmed Pakistan's readiness to continue sending U.S.-financed arms supplies to the Mujahedeen.

Before withdrawing, the Soviets gave Najibullah a large stock of arms, about $1 billion worth. They also left their advisers with him in Kabul, and worked for the establishment of a "coalition" government between Najibullah and the Mujahedeen, in which the PDPA was to have the majority of seats. This projected government was very similar to those that Gorbachev attempted to establish in the East European satellite states, but the scheme did not work in either region, even though Soviet diplomats, including Shevardnadze, held talks with Mujahedeen representatives. The remaining Soviet troops withdrew by February 15, 1989, as per the Geneva agreements. However, as late as 1990, Soviet aid to Najibullah was estimated at more than $250 million per month, including new weapons' systems, especially SCUDs.

Massive Soviet aid does not explain why the war continued as long as it did. The second factor in the long-lasting war was, and is, the divisions among the Mujahedeen. They were divided at various times into 9 or 11 groups, mostly along tribal lines. Some are Muslim fundamentalists; others are not. They ostensibly came to an agreement in the "Peshawar Alliance," but disagreed on everything except that the future government should be based on Islamic law and that the Soviets stay out of the country. Some wanted a King, others a republic. Still, in February 1989, the leaders agreed in Peshawar on the appointment of a President and Prime Minister representing the fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist Islamic factions, and that the future interim government would be established in Kabul.

We should bear in mind that out of a total population of some 15,900,000 (est. mid-1990), about eight million were refugees -- three million lived in camps in Pakistan with another two million in Iran, while some three million moved into Afghani towns for protection. Therefore, no matter what government emerged, the country wouldl need massive doses of aid to resettle these people, plus help to remove millions of mines. (14)

The divisions and rivalries among the Mujahedeen and the fact that one of the most powerful leaders, Galbuddin Hekmatyar, came out in support of Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, led to a reversal of U.S. policy. * In spring 1991, the Bush administration was willing to consider a role for Najibullah in some interim arrangement to end the war. Furthermore, the representatives of some Mujahedeen groups negotiated with Najibullah's representatives in Geneva. It looked at times as if they might agree to stop fighting, if he recognized their fiefdoms. In fact, a few tacit, local agreements of this sort were reached.

However, Kabul fell to the Mujahedeen in April 1992 and Najibullah went into hiding. But though nine factions formed a government, they continued fighting each other for power. It seemed likely that the country would break up into several ethnic parts. One of these mibht be the ethnically Uzbek territory, with the city of Mazar-i-Sharif as its capital. Here Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum was the leader with the strongest armed force in the whole country. He also managed to organize a rudimentary civil service and a working economy. The second likely major region could be the mainly Pushtun region in the south with its center in Kabul.

Hekmatyar shelled Kabul, in an ongoing effort to overthrow President Burhanuddin Rabbani, elected in December of 1993. However, he finally teamed up with the President when a new force emerged in 1995: the Taliban . These young, Islamic, fundamentalists overran most of Afghanistan and rode into Kabul on September 27, 1996. They burst into the U.N. mission, seized Najibullah and his brother, who were hiding there, and hanged them. The government retreated north, and seemed willing to cooperate with gen. Doestam.

As of this writing, the Taliban, who had been welcomed as bringing peace, are losing their popularity due to their radical islamic beliefs - which are said to stem from life in backward Afghani villages rather than the Koran. They force men to grow beards and women to wear the "burqua" or cloak covering the whole body and head, with a slit for the eyes. Worse still, they forbid women to work outside the home - and beat them with sticks if they find them outside . This has created chaos in Kabul, where women worked as doctors, nurses, teachers, secretaries, etc. Furthermore, for thousands of widow, work outside the home is the only means of supporting their families. (16)

It is is also clear that a conflict for dominant influence in Afghanistan is going on between Pakistan on the one hand, which has funded and armed the Taliban - and the Russian Federal Republic which leans toward Gen. Dostum. The latter is now allied to another well known military leader, General Massoud, while former president Rabbani has shown interest in possible talks with the Taliban. They, however, do not reciprocate this


*It is worth noting that one of Hekmatyar's followers was Mahommed Salameh who raised money for the Mujahedeen in Brooklyn and was convicted for laying the bomb in the World Trade Center, New York, in February 1993, as was his roommate, the Iraqi Ramzi Ahmed Youssef, and the Palestinian Ahmad Ajaj.(15)

interest . The "Great Game" is entering another phase, and the poor people of Afghanistan are not likely to enjoy peace for some time to come..



1. On the Arab-Israeli conflict, see John Norton Moore, ed., The Arab-Israeli Conflict. Readings and Documents, Princeton, New Jersey, 1977 (and see bibliography at end of the book).

2. On the PDRY, see Tareq Y. Ismael, "People's Democratic Republic of Yemen," in Bogdan Szajkowski, ed., Marxist Governments. A World Survey, London, 1981, vol. III, pp. 755-83 (and see bibliography at end). See also Norman Cigar, "State and Society in South Yemen," Problems of Communism, May-June 1985.

3. On Ethiopia up to 1979, see Peter Schwab, "Socialist Ethiopia," in Bogdan Szajkowski, ed., Marxist Governments, vol. 2, pp. 293-320 (and see bibliography at end).

4. See Zbigniew Brzezinski, Power and Principle, New York, 1983, pp. 178 ff.

5. See Edward J. Keller, "The Ethiopian Revolution at the Crossroads," Current History, March 1984, and Peter Schwab, "Political Change and Famine in Ethiopia," Current History, May 1985.

6. On Angola to 1979, see Michael Wolfers, "People's Republic of Angola," in Szajkowski, Marxist Governments, vol. 1, pp. 62-86 (and bibliography).

7. On Mozambique to 1979, see Thomas H. Henriksen, "People's Republic of Mozambique," in Szajkowski, Ibid., vol. 3, pp. 527-552 (and bibliography).

8. On Benin to 1979, see: Samuel Decalo, "The People's Republic of Benin," in Szajkowski, Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 87-115 (and bibliography).

9. On the Congo to 1979, see Samuel Decalo, "The People's Republic of the Congo," in Szajkowski, Ibid., pp. 212-233 (and bibliography).

10. On South Africa, see "Select Bibliography."

11. See Theodore L. Eliot Jr., "The Afghans' Next Ordeal," World Monitor, vol. I, no. 3, Dec. 1988, pp. 40-47 (the author was the U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan in 1974-78); Helena Cobban, "Ending Bloodshed in the Third World," Ibid., pp. 66-71.

12. See Brzezinski, Power and Principle, pp. 427-48.

13. See Rosanne Klass, "Afghanistan: The Accords," Foreign Affairs, vol. 66, no. 5, summer 1988, pp. 922-945.

14. See Abdul Rashid, "Behind the Soviet Pullout: The Specter of Afghanistan's Partition," Strategic Review, Spring 1988, pp. 16-22.

15. See: Tim Weiner, BLOWBACK FROM THE AFGAN BATTLEFIELD, New York Times Magazine, March 13, 1994, pp. 52-55.

16. On Afghanistan and the Taliban, see reports in the New York Times and Christian Science Monitor, 1996 e.g. John F.Burns, "The West in Afghanistan, Before and After," New York Times, Feb. 18, 1996, E 5; Sarah Horner, "Insurgents' Victory Undoes Dipomacy of Afghan Premier. Kabul accuses Pakistan of aiding Taliban takeover of Key Eastern City,"

Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 16, 1996, p.6;John Zubrzycki, "Islam's Student-Warriors Greeted as Liberators," ibid., Sept. 10, 1996, p.1,9; "Rebels pursue Afghan Push, Killing Aides of Slain Chief," (AP) Kabul, Sept.28, 1996, New York Times, Sept. 29, 1996, Y 6.


Select Bibliography.

1. Africa.

Henry S. Biener, Robert Levgold, Gavin S. Maasdorp, and Robert I. Rotberg, South Africa and Its Neighbors: Regional Security and Self-Interest, Lexington, Kentucky and Toronto, MIT, 1985.

Gwendolyn M. Carter and Patrick O'Meane, International Politics in South Africa, Bloomington, Indiana, 1982.

Michael Clough, editor, Reassessing the Soviet Challenge in Africa, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1986.

William Finnegan, A Complicated War. The Harrowing of Mozambique, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1992.

Arthur Gavshon, Crisis in Africa. Battleground of East and West, Middlesex, England and New York, Penguin, 1981 (deals mainly with Ethiopia and Angola).

Gail M. Gerhard, Black Power in South Africa: The Evolution of an Ideology, 1978.

John A. Marcum, "Africa: A Continent Adrift," Foreign Affairs, v. 68, no. 1, 1989, pp. 159-179.

John A. Marcum, The Angolan Revolution, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1969-1978.

Harold G. Marcus, Ethiopia, Great Britain, and the United States, 1941-1974, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1983.

Harold G. Marcus, Haile Sellassie I: The Formative Years, 1892-1936, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1986.

Harold G. Marcus, A History of Ethiopia, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1994.

Richard F. Nyrop, ed., The Yemens. Country Studies, Washington, D.C., Foreign Area Studies, The American University, Headquarters, Department of the Army, 2nd edition, 1986.

2. Afghanistan.

Henry S. Bradsher, Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, new and expanded edition, Durham, North Carolina, 1985 (lst ed. 1983).

Michael Dobbs, "The Soviet Vietnam. How, Against the Kremlin's Wishes, It Was Sucked into Afghanistan," The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, November 23-29, 1992.

Michael Dobbs, "Cutting the Gordian Knot: Why the Kremlin Retreated," The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, November 23-29, 1992.

Louis Dupree, Afghanistan, Princeton, New Jersey, 1980 (lst ed. 1973).

Mark Galeotti, AFGHANISTAN. The Soviet Union's Last War, London, 1995 (examines warring armies and people)/

Rosanne Glass, "Afghanistan: The Accords," Foreign Affairs, vol. 66, no. 5, summer 1988, pp. 922-945.

Milan Hauner, THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. Patterns of Russian Imperialism, Phildelphia, Pa., 1991 (examines war in context of Russian policy and strategic factors).

Joseph Newman, Jr., "The Future of Northern Afghanistan," Asian Survey, vol. XXVII, 7, January 1988, pp. 729-739.

Richard F. Nyrop and Donald M. Seekins, eds., Afghanistan. A Country Study, Washington D.C., Foreign Area Studies, The American University, Headquarters, Department of the Army, 5th edition, 1986.

Amin Saikal and William Maley, The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Cambridge and New York, Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Radek Sikorski, Dust of Saints. A Journey Through War-Torn Afghanistan, New York 1989 (a first-class account by a Polish journalist of his trip from Pakistan into Afhganistan, and his conversations with Mujaheddin leaders).

"The Soviet Temptation in Baluchistan," Defense and Foreign Affairs, November 1985, pp. 20-23.

Tim Weiner, "BLOWBACK FROM THE AFGHAN BATTLEFIELD. Five Years After the Soviet Retreat, the Freedom Fighters Once Financed by the C.I.A. Have Created a Breeding Ground for Drugs and Terrorism," New York Times Magazine, March 13, 1994, pp. 52-55 (with photographs).