A Decade of Violence: The Soviet-Afghan War
The communist party in Afghanistan was first formed in 1965. Daoud, though not a communist, was an ally of the soviets. He first allied himself with the Soviets in 1954 when he asked for military aid in order to protect the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Daoud was asked to resign in 1963 because he has increased the countries' independence on the Soviets. However, in 1973, he came back into power with the help of pro-Moscow communists. As soon as 1975, however, Daoud began to change his policies towards the communists. He ousted several communists from government positions and had himself elected president to legitimize his regime.
"We will never allow you to dictate to us how to run our country and whom to employ in Afghanistan. How and where we employ the foreign experts will remain the exclusive prerogative of the Afghan state. Afghanistan shall remain poor, if necessary, but free in its acts and decisions." (This was a reply to Communist Russian leader Brezhnev after he made comments of "controlling" Afghanistan.)
He also attempted to reconcile with Pakistan which aggravated the Soviets. Thus, in April 1978, the Afghani communists, with the help of the Soviets, assassinated Daoud. A new socialist government was set-up. Mohammad Taraki is named Prime Minister and the country is remanded the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. However, uprisings from the middle class and peasants weakened the new government. In 1979 the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in order to protect the new socialist government.
The war for the Soviets was an unparalleled disaster. In 1988 the 115,000 Soviet soldiers begin to withdraw after losing an estimated 15,000 troops in ten years.