Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 25 The Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan—1979–80
Georg Nolte, Janina Barkholdt
Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer
- 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.