Essay: Afghanistan’s social and cultural elites

Sample Essay

Some critics contended that Afghanistan was abandoned by those most responsible for its turmoil namely the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Ayub and Kuovo (2008) stated that the war and its aftermath “have most sharply defined Afghanistan as it is today” (p. 643) and charged that the “international community failed Afghanistan in not staying involved” (p. 646). They argued that if the international community considered the fraught situation that the nation was left in following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union and the subsequent “dismissal of Afghanistan from [the] agendas” of those nations that supported the various Mujahedeen factions, efforts might have been taken to strengthen the postwar government so that it could exert control over the increasingly unruly and destructive warlords who emerged out of the Mujahedeen (Ayub & Kuovo, 2008; Weinstein & Vaishnav, 2006).

In the wake of many of Afghanistan’s political, intellectual, social and cultural elites either fleeing the country or killed during the warfare, the power vacuum upon the Soviet’s withdrawal and the disinterest of the international community was seized upon by the Mujahedeen. Without the common enemy of the PDPA and the Soviets to unite them, the differences that characterized the loosely-knit and disparate interests of the Mujahedeen, erupted. Armed with state-of-the art weaponry provided by their former “U.S., Pakistani and Saudi patrons” (Ayub & Kuovo, 2008, p. 643), they “turned their arms upon each other in a second wave of murder and pillage that produced tens of thousands more dead and fractured the country along geographical and ethnic lines” (p. 643). The resulting factions and battles rendered Afghanistan a country essentially ruled by warlords who brought further destruction to an already traumatized populace.

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