Whilst the focus of this chapter is on the situation in Afghanistan since September 2001, it is necessary to consider briefly the period surrounding the Soviet intervention in 1979, in order to understand the background to the various possible permutations in the relationships between different groups. The Soviet Union sent armed forces into Afghanistan in December 1979 in order to ‘assist’ the then government. There was an increasing level of conflict between the government and various organized armed groups, organized along tribal or clan lines, operating in a...
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