Afghanistan (Nations in Transition) by Steven Otfinoski

By Steven Otfinoski

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However, Amanullah did not trust the Soviets any more than he did the British. It was apparent to him that Muslims in the Soviet Union were being oppressed as much as other minorities. At home, Amanullah pursued a program of rapid reform and modernization. With Soviet assistance he organized an Afghan air force in 1921 and came up with the first national budget in 1922. The following year he proposed and adopted Afghanistan’s first constitution. The document called for new laws to replace the old tribal codes, new legislative bodies in the government, and a new unit of currency, the afghani.

On their part, the Soviets called for a six-month unilateral cease-fire, but the resistance leaders refused to honor it. 28 ■ AFGHANISTAN The morale of the Afghan army was reaching an all-time low. The army had shrunk from over 100,000 fighters at the start of the war to less than 25,000. Many Afghans drafted into the army deserted at the first opportunity. Morale was also low among Soviet troops, and anti-war feelings at home were intensifying. Gorbachev knew he had to end the war or lose face in a Soviet Union that was already cracking at the seams from decades of misrule and corruption.

28 ■ AFGHANISTAN The morale of the Afghan army was reaching an all-time low. The army had shrunk from over 100,000 fighters at the start of the war to less than 25,000. Many Afghans drafted into the army deserted at the first opportunity. Morale was also low among Soviet troops, and anti-war feelings at home were intensifying. Gorbachev knew he had to end the war or lose face in a Soviet Union that was already cracking at the seams from decades of misrule and corruption. The End of One War On April 14, 1988, a peace agreement was signed between the Soviets and Afghan representatives.

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