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Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 25 The Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan—1979–80

Georg Nolte, Janina Barkholdt

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 June 2024

Humanitarian intervention — Applicable law

This contribution discusses the intervention by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan (1979-1980). After recalling the facts and the context of this intervention, it sets out the legal positions of the main protagonists (the Soviet Union and Afghanistan) and examines the reaction of the international community of States. It then analyses the different grounds invoked by the Soviet Union as justification for the lawfulness of its intervention focusing on the claim of an intervention by invitation. In the final section it is argued that the negative reaction of a large majority of states to the justifications offered by the Soviet Union have led to a confirmation and clarification of the applicable law.

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