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Afghanistan – krig og besættelse

Afghanistan – War and Occupation:
The Russian Invasion and Thereafter
The Western Invasion 2001 –


In 1979 the Soviet troops occupied Afghanistan, while USA and others actively supported the islamistic resistance. In 1989 the Soviet withdrew its troops from the country, and after years of civil war the Taliban gained power supported by Pakistan. After September 11th 2001 the US attacked Afghanistan.
The Danish troops are currently on their way out of Iraq, but are now in return strengthening their position in Afghanistan.
Therefore we have collected this webliography on Afghanistan with background, documentation, history and debate.

Bjarne A. Frandsen
April 2007. Revised October 2016.


The Russian invasion and thereafter


Special supplement: Yacov Ben Efrat: Afghan boomerang (Issue 70, November-December 2001)
“America’s nurture of militant Islam and the miscalculations of Osama Bin Laden.”

Global Research

The CIA’s intervention in Afghanistan (15 October 2001)
“According to this 1998 interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the CIA’s intervention in Afghanistan preceded the 1979 Soviet invasion. This decision of the Carter Administration in 1979 to intervene and destabilise Afghanistan is the root cause of Afghanistan’s destruction as a nation.”

In Defence of Marxism

Topics: Afghanistan

Doctor Zayar: Afghanistan – an historical overview (15 October 2001)
“To understand the present war that is taking place in Afghanistan, one must take into consideration the factors that have shaped the history of this tragic land. Doctor Zayar gives an overview of the history of Afghanistan from the middle ages to the present day.”

Ted Grant: Afghanistan: why the Russian bureaucracy invaded (15 January 1980)
“In this article we find a scientific Marxist analysis of the class content of the 1978 Afghan revolution and its historical origins. In addition, we have an explanation for the principled position that we took with regard to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that occurred the following year.”

International Socialism

Jonathan Neale: Afghanistan: the case against the ‘good war’ (Issue 120, Autumn 2008, p.31-60)
“Jonathan Neale sets out the history of Afghanistan’s 30 years of bloodshed and explain why its people have turned against the latest occupation.”

Jonathan Neale: The long torment of Afghanistan (Issue 93, Dec. 2001, p.31-57).
“Over the last 30 years the great and small powers of this world have made a hell of Afghanistan.”

Jonathan Neale: The Afghan tragedy (Issue 12, Spring 1981, p.1-32).
“.. a Marxist analysis of the roots and forms of the Afghan tragedy. .. the class roots of the Afghan left, the causes of their coup and the consequences of the Russian invasion.”

International Socialist Review

Phil Gasper: Afghanistan, the CIA, bin Laden and the Taliban (Issue 20, Nov.-Dec. 2001)
“Whatever the U.S. government’s current rhetoric about the repressive nature of the Taliban regime, its long history of intervention in the region has been motivated not by concern for democracy or human rights, but by the narrow economic and political interests of the U.S. ruling class …”

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed: Afghanistan, the Taliban and the United States (Web exclusive, 2001).
“My thesis is that not only has the United States together with the former Soviet Union perpetuated the current catastrophe by having previously supported the armed factions in Afghanistan, but that covert US support of the most prominent faction in the country – the Taliban – continued throughout the 1990s, and may be continuing to this day.”

Jacobin: Reason in Revolt

Jonathan Neale: Remembering the Saur Revolution (15 May 2018).
“Forty years ago, communists took over Afghanistan hoping to bring modernization and social progress to the country. Were their sweeping reforms doomed to fail?”

London Review of Books

Tariq Ali: Andropov was right (Vol.33, No.12, 16 June 2011)
Review of Rodric Braithwaite, Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89 (Profile, 2011) + Artemy Kalinovsky, A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Harvard, 2011)

Marxists Internet Archive

History Archive: History of Afghanistan (1851-1989)
“This archive contains resources on U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, the CIA’s successful overthrow of the Afghani government, and the Soviet response.”
With Time line of Afghanistan (1919-1996) and Frederick Engels’ article from 1857: Afghanistan.

Media Lens

Nikolai Lanine: Invasion – a comparison of Soviet and Western media performence (November 20, 2007)
“Nikolai Lanine served with the Soviet Army during its 1979-1989 occupation of Afghanistan, but now lives and works as a peace activist in Canada. Lanine has spent several years trawling through Soviet-era newspaper archives comparing the propaganda of that time with modern Western media performance.”

New Left Review

Afghanistan: Between hammer and anvil (No.2, March-April 2000)
“Tariq Ali on John Cooley, Unholy Wars, and Ahmed Rashid, Taliban. How the US fought its proxy war in Afghanistan, and what kind of Islamist regime has resulted.”

Fred Halliday: The war and revolution in Afghanistan (pdf) (No.119, January-February 1980, p.20-41)
“Fred Halliday discusses the circumstances of the Soviet decision to intervene with massive military forces in December 1979.”

Fred Halliday: Revolution in Afghanistan (pdf) (No.112, November-December 1978, p.3-44)
“Fred Halliday provides the first full-lenght study in any language of the historical background, political origins and experience to date of the Afghan revolution.”

Socialist Forum

John O’Mahony i.e. Sean Matgamna]: [Afghanistan: USSR troops out, the socialist case (No.3, July 1985)
“What attitude should socialists take to the war? It is a colonial war of conquest. But it is being fought by the USSR, which most of the left in Britain consider either socialist, or at any rate a workers’ state of some sort. So should our attitude be different from the attitude we took to the Vietnam war?”

Socialist Review

Chris Harman: Only a pawn in their game: Afghanistan and the Russian invasion of 1979-80 (February 1980)
“The motives behind the Russian invasion have nothing to do with a desire to advance ”˜progress’ in Afghanistan. Like the Americans in Vietnam in the mid-sixties, the Russians are out to prove that they can police their own sphere of influence.”

Socialist Worker

Dave Crouch: How Afghanistan became the graveyard of the Russian empire (Issue 2168, 12 September 2009)
“When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 they thought they were in for an easy victory. But they underestimated the power of the resistance.”

Simon Basketter: Afghanistan’s history of invasion and resistance + Afghanistan was a pawn in the Cold War between US and Russia (Issue 2109, 12 July 2008)
“Imperialist invasions have scarred Afghanistan’s history over the last three centuries, writes Simon Basketter, but the great powers’ plans have been thwarted by resistance.”

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Workers Liberty

Topics: Afghanistan

Sean Matgamna: Afghanistan and the shape of the 20th century (Vol.2, Issue 2, March 2002, p.18-87).
“All the horrors that engulfed the peoples of Afghanistan in the last quarter of the twentieth century were called down on them by the Stalinist ‘Great Saur Revolution’ of 27 April 1978. It triggered the bloody 23 year cycle that ended with the fall of the Taliban regime in December 2001.


The Western Invasion 2001 –

Sites / Collections of articles

Marc Herold’s Afghan Canon.

Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, warlords, and the propaganda of silence
By Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls (Seven Stories Press, 2006).
Interviews, reviews and excerpts from the book.

The ‘good occupation’. By Nicole Colson (International Socialist Review, Issue 52, March–April 2007)

Costs of War
“… there has been no comprehensive accounting of the costs of the United States’ wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. The goal of the Costs of War project has been to outline a broad understanding of the domestic and international costs and consequences of those wars.”

In Defence of Marxism

Topics: Afghanistan

Project on Defence Alternatives

War Report
“Iraq and Afghanistan war news, analysis, commentary from around the web.”

Archives: Afghan War

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) (RAWA)
“RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.”

Socialist Worker (US)

Topics: Afghanistan

Ongoing coverage and analysis: The U.S. war on Afghanistan

Views and Voices: Debate on Afghanistan (Issue 603, September 29, 2006)

Third World Traveler

U.S. Foreign Policy: Afghanistan page

Workers Liberty

Topics: Afghanistan

World Socialist Web Site

Topics: Central Asia




Marc W. Herold: A dossier on civilian victims of United States’ aerial bombing of Afghanistan: a comprehensive accounting (March, 2002)
“What causes the documented high level of civilian casualties – 3,000 – 3,400 (October 7, 2001 thru March 2002) civilian deaths – in the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan? The explanation is the apparent willingness of U.S. military strategists to fire missiles into and drop bombs upon, heavily populated areas of Afghanistan.”

Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

Seema Patel: Breaking point: measuring progress in Afghanistan (pdf) (February 23, 2007, 118 p.)
“Three of the report’s main findings are:
Afghans are losing trust in their government because of an escalation in violence – Public expectations are neither being met nor managed – Conditions in Afghanistan have deteriorated in all key areas targeted for development, except for the economy and women’s rights.”


Fariba Nawa: Afghanistan, Inc.: a CorpWatch Investigative Report (October 6th, 2006, 35 p.)
“A new report details the bungled reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.”


Chris Nineham: Afghanistan’s unending war: seventeen years since the Western invasion (October 7, 2018)
“The Taliban is advancing again, met by escalation from Trump and NATO. Amidst the devastation, our leaders still can’t recognise defeat.”


Gareth Porter: Shattering the myth of Taliban / Al Qaeda ties (February 8, 2011)
“In a paper published Monday by the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn recount the decision by the Taliban leadership in 2002 to offer political reconciliation with the U.S.-backed Afghan administration.” See also the CIC Study: Separating the Taliban from al-Qaeda (pdf) (2011, 12 p.)

Gareth Porter: Taliban rising (September 23, 2009)
“Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s assessment says key Afghan groups back Taliban.”

Eliza Szabo: Fatal neglect (July 20, 2007)
“According to what little information is available, U.S. and NATO-led forces appear to be responsible for a growing number of civilian deaths.”

In Defence of Marxism

Alan Woods: Obama, Afghanistan and general McChrystal (23 June 2010)
“The public clash between Obama and his top general in Afghanistan highlight the difficulties US imperialism is facing in what is clearly an unwinnable war. What the general has done is to express in public what is normally reserved for private conversation, but it does bring out clearly the impasse the US is facing in Afghanistan.” Dansk udgave: Obama, Afghanistan og general McChrystal (Socialistisk Standpunkt, 28. juni 2010)

Alan Woods: Afghanistan – the unwinnable war (7 October 2008)
“A British Army brigadier recently admitted what we said long ago on the pages of this website: a military victory over the Taliban was ‘neither feasible nor supportable’. Neither side is winning and this is pushing the more realistic and serious minded strategists of capital to look at other solutions, a deal of some kind. Meanwhile the ordinary people continue to suffer.”

Alan Woods: Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul: Is the war over? (15 November 2001)
“In less than a week, Taliban forces have been swept from most of northern Afghanistan … The question is: How did a force that only two months ago controlled most of Afghanistan get swept from the battlefield so quickly, and is the battle over?”

Informed Comment

Juan Cole: Top ten myths about Afghanistan, 2010 (12/27/2010)

International Socialism

Jonathan Neale: Afghanistan: the case against the ‘good war’ (Issue 120, Autumn 2008, p.31-60)
“Jonathan Neale sets out the history of Afghanistan’s 30 years of bloodshed and explain why its people have turned against the latest occupation.”

International Socialist Review

Helen Redmond: The war on drugs in Afghanistan: From poppy to fentanyl lollipops (Issue 80, November-December 2011)
“Two wars are being fought in Afghanistan: the so-called war on terror, which as this publication has argued, is an imperialist war; and a war on drugs, an assault on poor Afghan farmers and their families struggling to survive in a shattered economy.”

David Whitehouse: Afghanistan: sinking deeper (Issue 69, January–February 2010)
“An examination of Obama’s new war plans for Afghanistan … At best, what the U.S. can hope for is to settle not for victory, but something less than a total defeat, by splitting the Taliban and forming some sort of coalition with them as part of it.”

David Whitehouse: The case for getting out of Afghanistan (Issue 63, January-February 2009)
“This record shows whether U.S. actions really match the professed humanitarian objectives, including the defense of women’s rights. The record also shows how much, and how little, the intervention has to do with al-Qaeda. And it shows what’s been constant in the calculations of top politicians – a concern for pipeline politics and the pursuit of strategic imperial position.”

Katherine Dwyer: Afghanistan’s endless war (Issue 37, September–October 2004)
“Ordinary Afghans face a war without end. Despite Bush’s claims about the U.S. bringing peace, democracy, and an end to terror to Afghanistan, the truth is that Afghanistan today exists in a state of total chaos.”

Nicole Colson: The truth about Afghanistan (Issue 28, March–April 2003)
“Ultimately, this is not a war for liberation, it is a war for domination and imperialism-and the dismal condition of Afghanistan shows the catastrophic potential awaiting the population of Iraq, and any other country that the Bush administration decides to target down the road.” The article is online at Third World Traveler.

Sharon Smith: Using women’s rights to sell Washington’s war (Issue 21, January-February 2002)
“The mass media has mentioned, but chosen not dwell on, the embarrassing contrast between the Bush administration’s stated outrage over the Taliban’s treatment of women and its silence over gender apartheid as practiced by U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.”

London Review of Books

Video : Tariq Ali: Obama’s War (19 April 2010, 144 min.)
“During his presidential campaign, President Obama pledged more troops, ground intrusions and drone attacks to end the war in Afghanistan. This is a promise he has kept, but it won’t work. In this lecture Tariq Ali talks about why the war is unwinnable and can only lead to a bloody stalemate.”

Middle East Report

Lisa Hajjar: Bagram, Obama’s Gitmo (Issue 260, Fall 2011)
“Many of the problems that had earned Guantánamo its excoriating nickname ‘the legal black hole’ and made it an international symbol of injustice, like denial of habeas corpus, indefinite detention and abusive interrogation techniques, are features of Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Critics seeking to draw attention to these problems nicknamed the Afghanistan facility ‘Obama’s Gitmo’.”

The Nation

Peter Bergen: Waltzing with Warlords (January 1, 2007)
“Five years after the United States ousted the Taliban, optimism about Afghanistan’s future is evaporating. Three new books shed light on what went wrong.”

New Internationalist

Theme: Through Afghan eye (Issue 417, November 2008)
“As the war in Afghanistan intensifies we ask Afghan writers and journalists how they see events unfolding and what they think their country needs to end decades of violent conflict.” See also Afghanistan – the facts

New Left Review

Tariq Ali: Afghanistan: mirage of the good war (New Left Review, Issue 50, March-April 2008)
“Reasons for the West’s stalemate in Afghanistan sought neither in lack of troops and imperial treasure, nor in Pakistani obstruction, but in the very nature of the occupation regime. Tariq Ali on the actual results of ‘state-building’ in the Hindu Kush, as a broken country is subjected to the combined predations of NGOs and NATO.”

The PBH Network

Perspective on 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan (September 11, 2010)
Casualties of 9/11, the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq.

Project on Defense Alternatives

Carl Conetta: Disappearing the dead: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the idea of a ‘New Warfare’ (pdf) (PDA Research Monograph, 9, 18 February 2004, 111 p.) + Executive Summary (pdf) (19 p.).
“Examines the Pentagon’s treatment of the civilian casualty issue in the Iraq and Afghan wars, reviews the ‘spin’ and ‘news frames’ used by defense officials to shape the public debate over casualties, and critiques the concept of a ‘precision warfare’ as misleading.”

Psysicians for Social Responsibility

Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 years of the “War on Terror” (pdf) (March 2015, 97 p.)
“The purpose of this investigation is to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan during 12 years of ”˜war on terrorism’.”

Rethink Afghanistan
Robert Greenwald’s latest film: “With the fast-paced editing that has become Greenwald’s trademark – no shot seems to last more than 15 seconds – Rethink Afghanistan tackles aspects of the war in 10-minute segments. Greenwald split the film into YouTube-sized chunks so people could get to see it online as soon as each segment was finished.”
See also:

Rethink Afghanistan (

What cost conquest? Review by Robert Ward (Green Leeft Weekly, Issue 808, 22 August 2009)

Robert Greenwald: Afghanistan’s sharpest shooter (Green Left Weekly, Issue 810, 13 September 2009). Mat Ward spoke to director Robert Greenwald.

Rolling Stone

Michael Hastings: The runaway general (Issue 1108-1109, July 8-22, 2010)
“Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”
See also:

Alan Woods: Obama, Afghanistan and general McChrystal (In Defence of Marxism, 23 June 2010)

Patrick Martin: The ‘Hitler’ option in Afghanistan (World Socialist Web Site, 29 June 2010)

Socialist Project

Greg Albo and Herman Rosenfeld: Unionists, Canada and the Afghan War : questions that workers ask about Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan (The Bullet, No. 32, October 27, 2006)

Socialist Review

Jonathan Neale: Round-up on Afghanistan (Issue 334, March 2009)
“To understand why Afghanistan is now a fire of revolt, you have to understand the experience of occupation. Four recent books help do this.”

Jonathan Neale: Afghanistan: the other lost war (Issue 319, November 2007)
“Against the backdrop of failure in Iraq, Afghanistan is often promoted as the enduringly justifiable, and winnable, war. Jonathan Neale explains why this is not the case, while former US infantryman Johnny Rico speaks out about his experiences on the Afghan frontline.”

Socialist Worker (UK)

Afghanistan: the war the West can’t win (Issue 2272, 8 October 2011)
“The so-called ”˜just war’ has brought a nightmare, not liberation, for Afghan people, says Judith Orr.”. With links to 4 other articles.

Socialist Worker (US)

The U.S. war on Afghanistan (pdf)
Collected articles from (2001-2009, 16 p.)

The unraveling occupation (April 10, 2012)”Nicole Colson reports on the quagmire of the U.S. occupation in Afghanistan – and why 10 years after the war began, the U.S. must get out.”

Doubling down in Afghanistan (April 6, 2009)
“David Whitehouse looks at the Obama administration’s new plan for Afghanistan and explains what it means for the future of the ‘other occupation’.”

Afghanistan’s response to escalating war (March 20, 2009)
“Anand Gopal, the Kabul correspondent for the Monitor, talked to David Whitehouse about the escalation of the war and the different ways Afghans are responding.”

Who are the Taliban? (December 9, 2008)
“Journalist Anand Gopal writes from Afghanistan on conditions driving resistance to the U.S. war and occupation.”

State of Nature

Elaheh Rostami Povey: The reality of life in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban (Vol.3, Spring 2006)
“Afghan people are resentful of the fact that after four years they do not have access to electricity, gas and clean water, while foreigners in their country enjoy these facilities.”
See also review of her book Afghan Women (Socialist Review, Issue 317, September 2007)


Afghan Autopsy. A Dig led by Christian Parenti (Nov 28, 2006)
“America began its so-called war on terror with the intention of driving the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. Five years later, the Taliban is back, Osama bin Laden is still alive, and insurgent fighters cite the U.S. presence in the country as their main wellspring of rage. How did it come to this?”

UN: Office on Drugs and Crime

Afghanistan Opium Survey 2015: Executive Summary (pdf) (2015, 12 p.)
“The total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was estimated to be 183,000 hectares (163,000 – 202,000) in 2015, which represents a 19% decrease from 2014. Area under opium poppy cultivation has decreased for the first time since 2009 and is at its fourth highest level since the beginning of estimations in 1994; higher levels have been estimated in 2007, 2013 and 2014.”

Afghanistan Opium Survey 2007: Executive Summary (pdf) (2007, 38 p.)
“In 2007 [Afghanistan was] practically the exclusive supplier of the world’s deadliest drug (93% of the global opiates market). Leaving aside 19th century China, that had a population at that time 15 times larger than today’s Afghanistan, no other country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale.”

The Washington Quarterly

Lorenzo Zambernardi: Counterinsurgency’s impossible trilemma (pdf) (Vol.33, No.3, July 2010, p.21-34)
“The impossible trilemma in counterinsurgency is that, in this type of conflict, it is impossible to simultaneously achieve: 1) force protection, 2) distinction between enemy combatants and noncombatants, and 3) the physical elimination of insurgents.”

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

Civilian casualties of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)


Afghan War Diary [Wikileaks, 25 July 2010]

World Socialist Web Site

Peter Symonds: A decade of neo-colonial war in Afghanistan (8 Oktoberr 2011)
“The war has been a disaster for the Afghan people and a tragic waste of the lives of American and allied soldiers. It has profoundly destabilised regional and world politics.”

Harvey Thompson: Afghanistan under occupation: an assessment, Part 1-3 (14 + 15 + 16 February 2007)
“A three-part series examining the situation in Afghanistan five years after the US-led invasion.”



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