The war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan lasted more than 9 years from 1979 to 1989 (Reuveny & Prakash, 1999). Hundreds of thousands of civilians died, and thousands of Soviet troops and Afghan troops were killed during the conflict to include Mujahideen fighters. After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, the Taliban began to rise and gain power in Afghanistan (Reuveny & Prakash, 1999). The Soviets left an arsenal of weapons, munitions, tanks, mortars, grenades, artillery, and other military equipment throughout Afghanistan because of the war conflict. The Taliban used this equipment in their rise to power in the 1990s and 2000s. Today, when leaving a war conflict, the United States attempts to destroy or remove/relocate as much military equipment and munitions as possible.
Do you believe that if the Soviet Union had destroyed its arsenal of weaponry and military equipment after the withdrawal in 1989 that the Taliban would have gained power? Would it have reduced terrorism in Afghanistan? Why, or why not?
ANSWET THE ABOVE DISCUSSION AND THEN REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 200 WORDS EACH) Your responses should be substantive in context and content and further the academic discussion (challenging and inquiry).
The Soviet Union leaving behind its arsenal and not destroying it prior to leaving would not have stopped the Taliban from gaining power. It may have slowed it a bit, but the rise to power was going to happen no matter what. The people that were fighting the Soviet Union received training and weapons from others around the world, including the US. The quality of their arms and combat organization gradually improved, however, owing to experience and to the large quantity of arms and other war matériel shipped to the rebels, via Pakistan, by the United States and other countries and by sympathetic Muslims from throughout the world (). If the Soviet Union took their weapons, I feel that it would have slowed the Taliban’s rise to power, but because they had received training and weapons from around the world they would have been in control in a matter of time. Even if the Taliban did not get the weapons from the Soviet Union, they would have been able to acquire them from other sources after the war. It is similar to places that ban guns, but criminals are still able to get them. I do not think this would have reduced terrorism in Afghanistan either. The mentality was already there because of the war and the Taliban had a following and was only going to grow from that point on. After the war, the Taliban got support from countries and people that were sympathetic to their cause which also would have boosted their numbers and the number of resources they would receive.