On-page link, opens in this window 01/10/23 The Soviet war in Afghanistan
On-page link, opens in this window 01/10/22 Women in Afghanistan
On-page link, opens in this window 01/10/19 Terrorism and backgrounds


The invasion of Afghanistan was launched on Christmas eve, not a major Muslim holiday, but a time when the Western governments were not prepared to react. Soviet advisers disabled equipment, blocked arms rooms and prevented a coordinated Afghan military response. Soviet airborne and Spetsnaz forces seized the Salang tunnel, key airfields, and key government and communications sites in Kabul. Soviet Spetsnaz soldiers killed President Amin. The Soviet ground invasion force crossed into the country, fought with a few pockets of Afghan military resistance and occupied the main cities while the Soviet government installed their Afghan puppet regime. The Soviets expected the resistance to end here, but it had only begun. The ability to rationalize an intolerable situation that pervades the West did not hold in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Afghans' values, faith and love of freedom enabled them to hold out against a superpower, even though they suffered tremendous casualties in doing so.
Off-site link, opens in new window The Soviet war in Afghanistan: history and harbinger of future war? (via Lake effect)


Alongside the violence perpetrated against women by members of armed Mujahideen groups, all Afghan political groups have used the status of women as a political tool to claim legitimacy or popularity vis a vis other factions. The cultural constraints existing for women, which are bound up with interpretations of tradition and religion, have repeatedly been raised to the political level by Afghan armed groups. Invoking religion and Afghan culture, most armed groups have made pronouncements about appropriate behaviour for women, imposing restrictions on their freedom of movement and access to employment and education in areas they controlled. Women have been publicly harassed, intimidated and beaten for carrying out activities deemed by armed guards to be 'un-Islamic'. Most consistent and stringent in their enforcement of restrictions on women is the Taleban, an armed political group who currently control all major towns and cities in Afghanistan including the capital, Kabul.
Off-site link, opens in new window Amnesty International: women in Afghanistan, pawns in men's power struggles

RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, was established in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1977 as an independent political/social organization of Afghan women fighting for human rights and for social justice in Afghanistan. The founders were a number of Afghan woman intellectuals under the sagacious leadership of Meena who in 1987 was assassinated in Quetta, Pakistan, by Afghan agents of the then KGB in connivance with fundamentalist band of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar . RAWA's objective was to involve an increasing number of Afghan women in social and political activities aimed at acquiring women's human rights and contributing to the struggle for the establishment of a government based on democratic and secular values in Afghanistan.
Off-site link, opens in new window Revolutionary association of the women in Afghanistan

In 1997, The Feminist Majority launched the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan to urge the US government and the U.N. to do everything in their power to restore the human rights of Afghan women and girls. Chaired by Mavis Leno, the Feminist Majority Foundation's campaign has brought together more than 200 leading human rights and women's organizations to condemn the Taliban's human rights abuses against women and girls and to put pressure on the U.S. and U.N. to end gender apartheid in Afghanistan.
Off-site link, opens in new window Feminist majority foundation: stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan

More resources at About.com.
Off-site link, opens in new window Women's issues: Afghanistan


Six months ago, the National Commission on Terrorism began its Congressionally mandated evaluation of America's laws, policies, and practices for preventing and punishing terrorism directed at American citizens. After a thorough review, the Commission concluded that, although American strategies and policies are basically on the right track, significant aspects of implementation are seriously deficient. Thus, this report does not attempt to describe all American counterterrorism activities, but instead concentrates on problem areas and recommended changes.
Off-site link, opens in new window Countering the changing threat of international terrorism - report of the national commission on terrorism
Off-site link, opens in new window Resources

26 recent publications from the National Academies about the science and policy issues surrounding terrorism and security.
Off-site link, opens in new window National academies reports on terrorism and security

The Henry L. Stimson Center is a community of analysts devoted to offering practical solutions to problems of national and international security.
Off-site link, opens in new window The Henry L. Stimson center website

The current trial of Usama Bin Laden and others for the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar al-Salaam, Tanzania, has shed new light on the efforts of Bin Laden and his terrorist organization, Al-Qa'ida ("The Base"), to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Prosecution witness Jamal Ahmad al-Fadl detailed his efforts to assist Bin Laden in an attempt to acquire uranium, presumably for the development of nuclear weapons, from a source in Khartoum, Sudan, in late 1993 or early 1994. Although Bin Laden has made statements in the past regarding his interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction for a jihad (holy war) against the West, Al-Fadl's testimony-if it proves to be credible and accurate-provides important evidence of his actions to do so. Although the information that Al-Fadl revealed in the trial has probably been known for some time by the U.S. government, it adds important new information to the public domain on the efforts of Bin Laden and Al-Qa'ida to acquire nuclear weapons, including specific names and places. CIA Director George Tenet, addressing the U.S. Congress on February 7, 2001, referred to Bin Laden as one of the leading threats to U.S. national security at home and abroad. It is therefore important to understand this threat in a realistic and accurate manner.
Off-site link, opens in new window Center for nonproliferation studies: WMD terrorism and Usama Bin Laden

The Afghanistan document collection provides a contemporary record of many of the political and military developments that caused an isolated, Third World country situated at the rugged cross-roads of Asia to become the battleground for the bloodiest and costliest superpower proxy war of the 1980s. The collection consists of 2,326 documents totaling approximately 15,000 pages. While the bulk of the documentation was produced between 1979 and 1988--the period of the Soviet military occupation of Afghanistan--the collection also encompasses events leading up to the 1979 Soviet invasion and includes the Soviet withdrawal during 1988-1989. Collectively, the documents cover most aspects of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan from 1973 to 1990.
Off-site link, opens in new window Afghanistan: the making of U.S. policy, 1973-1990

The horrific September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon brought all of us here at the Archive feelings of rage at the hijackers, grief for the thousands who were murdered, and also determination that we will contribute to finding the best ways for America to respond. The Archive's mission is to put on the record the primary source documentation that can enrich the policy debate, improve journalism, educate policymakers, and ensure that we don't reinvent the wheel or repeat the mistakes of the past.
Off-site link, opens in new window The national security archive: the September 11th sourcebooks

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