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Download e-book for kindle: Afghanistan: A Modern History by Angelo Rasanayagam

By Angelo Rasanayagam

ISBN-10: 1417564431

ISBN-13: 9781417564439

ISBN-10: 1860648460

ISBN-13: 9781860648465

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Example text

Thus, when the increasingly vocal opposition was perceived as a threat to the ruling oligarchy and the traditional vested interests, the government had no difficulty in clamping down on the reformists and imprisoning some of their more articulate elements. Samuel P. '6 In the context of Afghanistan, the policies of Abdur Rahman, which allowed no uncontrollable social forces to be released, may have been vindicated. This problem is also faced by every autocratic regime, Pahlavi Iran and the Soviet Union being the most spectacular examples.

The various straids of the web that led to this unacknowledged but palpable shift in policy are tangled and difficult to unravel even now, with the benefit of hindsight. It is relevant, at this stage, to cast some light on the circumstances prevailing at the time. First and foremost, Afghanistan was in dire need of external economic and military assistance. The United States, which was in a position to help, was indifferent, or rather insensitive to the peculiarities of the Afghan situation after the British withdrawal from India had left the field open for the Soviets to exploit.

There is no doubt that Daoud's intent was to build up and equip armed forces that would be strong and effective enough to deter any external threats and maintain internal order during his determined efforts to modernize his 34 AFGHANISTAN: A M O D E R N HISTORY economically and socially backward country, in the manner of an Ataturk or a Reza Shah. But the US refusal to be of assistance made him almost exclusively dependent on the Soviet Bloc. He may not have perceived the longterm implications of such dependence.

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Afghanistan: A Modern History by Angelo Rasanayagam


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