The 1979 Herat uprising was an insurrection that took place in and around the town of Herat, Afghanistan in March 1979. It included both a popular uprising and a mutiny of Afghan Army troops against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA). The communist regime at first appealed to its Soviet allies for help, but the Soviet leadership declined to intervene. After the insurgents seized and held the city for about a week, the regime was able to retake it with its own forces, and the subsequent aerial bombardment and recapture of Herat left up to 25,000 of its inhabitants dead.
|1979 Herat uprising|
|Part of the War in Afghanistan|
Afghan diorama depicting the insurgency in Herat Military Museum.
|Commanders and leaders|
Nur Muhammad Taraki|
Maj. Gen. Sayyed Mukharam
Non-organised leadership Military leadership
4th Armoured Brigade|
15th Armoured Brigade
|Casualties and losses|
The events in Herat took place in the wider context of unrest against the socialist reforms implemented by the DRA, of which the principal was agrarian reform. The reforms, besides contradicting tradition and the principles of Islam, in many cases worsened the situation of the rural poor they were supposed to reward. Starting in May 1978 in Nuristan, spontaneous uprisings took place throughout Afghanistan against the DRA and its policies.
The agrarian reform had taken place near Herat without opposition, as there was little solidarity between the rural farmers, and the big landowners who mostly lived in the city. In this case the repression carried out by the Khalq against religious dignitaries, including Pir and Ulema, and traditional elites, is cited as a critical factor, as well as the government's literacy campaign, which had become controversial due in particular to the inclusion of communist propaganda in the literacy courses, as well as the practice of mixed-gender classes.
In Herat Province isolated revolts had already taken place, but the uprising began in earnest on March 15, 1979. In the surrounding districts insurgents gathered around mosques, and following the preaching of their mullahs, marched on the city, where they were joined by many townsmen in attacking government buildings, and symbols of communism. The 17th Division of the Afghan Army was detailed by the regime to put down the rebellion, but this proved a mistake, as there were few Khalqis in that particular unit and instead it mutinied and joined the uprising. A small group of soldiers, officials and Khalq activists withdrew into the city's Blue Mosque. The insurgents held Herat for about a week, during which the city underwent a period of anarchy. Rioters roamed the streets, chanting "Allahu Akbar", searching for government supporters and sarluchi (those with uncovered heads), indicating a lack of piety; communist officials, in particular teachers, were massacred. The bazaar was looted, and several Soviet advisers to the DRA were killed, though other foreigners were spared. The exact number of Soviets killed during the events is uncertain: certain sources cite high figures of up to 200 but according to official Soviet sources, there were only two victims. Former DRA sources indicate that 3 or 4 Soviets were killed, possibly with their families. According to certain sources, the bodies of the dead advisers were paraded around the city by the rebels, but this is denied by other sources. The rebellion did not have a unified leadership: on the military side, the mutineers were led by a group of officers under Sardar Jagran and Rasul Baloch which also included Ismail Khan and Alauddin Khan, who were associated with the Jamiat-e Islami party. Ismail Khan, who later became Amir of Jamiat-e Islami forces in Herat Province and a major Mujahideen commander, did not play a leading role in the revolt, as was later claimed by his supporters. Among the civilian insurgents, the situation was more confused, though some local figures played a significant role: Gul Mohammad, a Barakzai Pashtun from Gozargah, and Kamar-i Dozd and Shir Aga Shongar, two former convicts, led large groups of insurgents. The rebellion overran all the districts around Herat, except Obeh and Pashtun Zarghun where government command posts held out, and spread a few days later to Badghis Province, and then on to other neighbouring provinces.
After the initial shock of losing a major city and the defection of a whole division, the DRA reacted ruthlessly. The 4th and 15th armoured brigades were sent from Pul-e-Charki, but due to the distance they had to travel, Hafizullah Amin ordered Major General Sayyed Mukharam, commander of the Kandahar garrison to send an armoured force that could reach Herat faster. Mukharam's column of 30 tanks and 300 men arrived at Herat on March 20, waving green flags and Qurans, which induced the insurgents to believe that rebellion had spread to the whole country. The Khalq troops were thus allowed to pass, and recapture the city. The government forces then subjected Herat to an aerial bombardment with Ilyushin Il-28 bombers flying from Shindand Air Base, during which the city was heavily damaged, and thousands of Heratis were killed, though the exact death toll is uncertain: the lowest estimate runs at 3,000 to 4,000 dead, while the higher-case estimate reaches 25,000 dead. In 1992, a mass grave was uncovered, containing 2,000 bodies of those killed by the DRA repression.
The events in Herat caused the Soviet leadership to realize that their Afghan allies were in crisis. Repeated demands from Nur Muhammad Taraki, president of the DRA, for Soviet military assistance in quelling the revolt, prompted a series of secret Politburo meetings. One such meeting took place on March 17, during which Foreign Minister Gromyko acknowledged that the DRA faced "thousands" of insurgents, but, in accordance with the Brezhnev Doctrine, asserted the "fundamental proposition" that "under no circumstances may we lose Afghanistan". Another Politburo member, Alexei Kosygin, expressed distrust of the DRA leadership, stating that "Amin and Taraki alike are concealing the true state of affairs from us". In a telephone conversation with Kosygin the following day, Taraki complained that he could no longer rely on the Afghan armed forces, even those trained in the Soviet Union, and his pleas for help became even more pressing: he requested that Soviet soldiers from the Soviet republics in Central Asia (many of which were inhabited by the same ethnic groups also found in Afghanistan) could be smuggled into Afghanistan in Afghan garb. However these requests were to no avail, and the Politburo initially moved towards a policy of non-intervention, which was later validated by Brezhnev. When Taraki visited Moscow on March 20, Kosygin explained to him the Soviet policy regarding Afghanistan:
...we carefully studied all aspects of this action and came to the conclusion that if our troops were introduced, the situation in your country would not only not improve, but would worsen. One cannot deny that our troops would have to fight not only with foreign aggressors, but also with a certain number of your people. And people do not forgive such things.
However, the Soviets did increase their military assistance in the following months by sending large quantities of equipment, including T-62 tanks, MiG-21 fighters and Mi-24 attack helicopters, along with extra advisers to service them. Despite this, the situation of the Afghan armed forces continued to deteriorate, with mutinies occurring in Jalalabad, Asmar, Ghazni, Nahrin, and in August 1979, the Bala Hissar uprising on a fortress in Kabul. Though these were all put down, the weakness of the military contributed significantly to the spread of the insurgency. On December 24, 1979, under Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Union deployed the 40th Army, commencing the start of the Soviet–Afghan War.
The DRA attempted to present the uprising as having been organised by Iran, occurring a month after the Iranian Revolution. Relations between Khomeini's Iran and the socialist DRA were tense, and the Khalq leadership suspected collusion between the Iranian Ayatollahs and the Shiite communities of Herat, which made up half of the city's population. In a propaganda move, the regime took advantage of the return of 4,000 Afghan labourers from Iran, to claim that Herat had been infiltrated by Iranians dressed as Afghans.
As a manifestation of the social and political forces at work in Afghanistan, the Herat uprising was the subject of academic research, which has offered contradictory explanations for it. Giorgio Vercellin presented the uprising as an anti-Pashtun movement, driven by the resentment of Persian-speaking communities against Pashtun settlers. This version is rejected both by Olivier Roy and by Gilles Dorronsoro, the latter pointing out that certain figures of the uprising such as Gul Muhammad, were ethnic Pashtuns, and that the revolt took hold equally in Pashtun-inhabited areas.
According to Olivier Roy, the Herat rebellion was an example of an organized rebellion, as opposed to the spontaneous anti-government revolts which occurred elsewhere in the country. Roy considers that the events in Herat bear the hallmark of strategy developed by Burhanuddin Rabbani, the leader of the Islamist party Jamiat-e Islami, consisting of a military coup by supporters infiltrated in the Army, supported by a popular uprising. To support this thesis, Roy points to the actions of Jamiat agents in the military (Ismail Khan and Alauddin Khan), and to links between Jamiat and the mawlawi who preached to the insurgents. Dorronsoro contested this interpretation, based on the relatively minor role played by Jamiat agents. While Jamiat office in Mashhad had opened communications with officers of the 17th Division several weeks before the events, the actual leaders of the mutiny were not aligned with that party (according to Dorronsoro, one of the two main ringleaders was a Maoist). In addition, the lack of coordination between the military and civilian insurgents, and the generally chaotic and unpredictable nature of the uprising indicate, in his view, that it was spontaneous rather than premeditated.
The 1969 Libyan coup d'état, also known as the al-Fateh Revolution or the 1 September Revolution, was a military coup d'état in Libya carried out by the Free Officers Movement, a group of military officers led by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which led to the overthrow of King Idris I.1976 Argentine coup d'état
The 1976 Argentine coup d'état was a right-wing coup that overthrew Isabel Perón as President of Argentina on 24 March 1976. A military junta was installed to replace her; this was headed by Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier-General Orlando Ramón Agosti. The political process initiated on 24 March 1976, took the official name of "National Reorganization Process", and the junta, although not with its original members, remained in power until the return to the democratic process on December 10, 1983.
The coup d'état had been planned since October 1975, and the United States Department of State learned of the preparations two months before its execution. The American secretary of state Henry Kissinger would meet several times with Argentinian military leaders after the coup, urging them to destroy their opponents quickly before outcry over human rights abuses grew in the United States.ASEAN Declaration
The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.Arms race
An arms race occurs when two or more nations participation in interactive or competitive increases in "persons under arms" as well as "war material". Simply defined as a competition between two or more states to have superior armed forces; a competition concerning production of weapons, the growth of a military, and the aim of superior military technology.
The term is also used to describe any long-term escalating competitive situation where each competitor focuses on out-doing the others.
An evolutionary arms race is a system where two populations are evolving in order to continuously one-up members of the other population. This concept is related to the Red Queen's Hypothesis, where two organisms co-evolve to overcome each other but each fails to progress relative to the other interactant.
In technology, there are close analogues to the arms races between parasites and hosts, such as the arms race between computer virus writers and antivirus software writers, or spammers against Internet service providers and E-mail software writers.
More generically, the term is used to describe any competition where there is no absolute goal, only the relative goal of staying ahead of the other competitors in rank or knowledge. An arms race may also imply futility as the competitors spend a great deal of time and money, yet end up in the same situation as if they had never started the arms race.Asian Relations Conference
The Asian Relations Conference took place in New Delhi in March-April 1947. It was hosted by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who then headed a provisional government that was preparing for India's Independence, which came on 15 August 1947. The Asian Relations Conference brought together many leaders of the independence movements in Asia, and represented a first attempt to assert Asian unity. The objectives of the conference were "to bring together the leading men and women of Asia on a common platform to study the problems of common concern to the people of the continent, to focus attention on social, economic and cultural problems of the different countries of Asia, and to foster mutual contact and understanding."
In his writings and speeches, Nehru had laid great emphasis on the manner in which post-colonial India would rebuild its Asia connections. At this conference Nehru declared: "... Asia is again finding herself ... one of the notable consequences of the European domination of Asia has been the isolation of the countries of Asia from one another. ... Today this isolation is breaking down because of many reasons, political and otherwise ... This Conference is significant as an expression of that deeper urge of the mind and spirit of Asia which has persisted ... In this Conference and in this work there are no leaders and no followers. All countries of Asia have to meet together in a common task ..."Bala Hissar uprising
The Bala Hissar uprising was a insurrection that took place on August 5, 1979 at the historical fortress Bala Hissar in the southern edge of Kabul, Afghanistan. Insurgents, as well as rebellious Afghan Army officers infiltrated and occupied the fortress. They were met by ruthless air bombardment by the Khalq government's MiG aircraft and artillery tank attacks.The uprising was commanded by Faiz Ahmad of the Marxist (but anti-Khalq) Revolutionary Group of the Peoples of Afghanistan (RGPA) and engineered by the Afghanistan Mujahedin Freedom Fighters Front (AMFF), a united front of anti-government Maoist and moderate Islamist groups. It was planned to be the first in a string of insurrections at major army garrisons and bases, the objective being to deal a military and political blow to the ruling PDPA/Khalq government and pave the way for a military coup.After the five hour battle, tens of Maoist cadres were killed and arrested, and the government swiftly took back control. Some RGPA central committee members like Mohammad Mohsin, Mohammad Dawod and others were executed in the Pul-e-Charkhi prison. Government loudspeaker trucks drove around Kabul announcing that the military action was retaliation of another international imperialist plot against the "people's regime".Except from the Herat uprising, the Bala Hissar rebellion was the most significant of the many uprisings that took place throughout Afghanistan in 1979.Eisenhower Doctrine
The Eisenhower Doctrine was a policy enunciated by Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 5, 1957, within a "Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East". Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression. Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism". The phrase "international communism" made the doctrine much broader than simply responding to Soviet military action. A danger that could be linked to communists of any nation could conceivably invoke the doctrine.Exercise Verity
Exercise Verity was the only major training exercise of the Western Union (WU). Undertaken in July 1949, it involved 60 warships from the British, French, Belgian and Dutch navies. A contemporary newsreel described this exercise as involving "the greatest assembly of warships since the Battle of Jutland."Frozen conflict
In international relations, a frozen conflict is a situation in which active armed conflict has been brought to an end, but no peace treaty or other political framework resolves the conflict to the satisfaction of the combatants. Therefore, legally the conflict can start again at any moment, creating an environment of insecurity and instability.
The term has been commonly used for post-Soviet conflicts, but it has also often been applied to other perennial territorial disputes. The de facto situation that emerges may match the de jure position asserted by one party to the conflict; for example, Russia claims and effectively controls Crimea following the 2014 Crimean crisis despite Ukraine's continuing claim to the region. Alternatively, the de facto situation may not match either side's official claim. The division of Korea is an example of the latter situation: both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea officially assert claims to the entire peninsula; however, there exists a well-defined border between the two countries' areas of control.
Frozen conflicts sometimes result in partially recognized states. For example, the Republic of South Ossetia, a product of the frozen Georgian–Ossetian conflict, is recognized by eight other states, including five UN members; the other three of these entities are partially recognized states themselves.Glasnost
In the Russian language the word Glasnost (; Russian: гла́сность, IPA: [ˈɡɫasnəsʲtʲ] (listen)) has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century.In the Russian Empire of the late-19th century, the term was particularly associated with reforms of the judicial system, ensuring that the press and the public could attend court hearings and that the sentence was read out in public. In the mid-1980s, it was popularised by Mikhail Gorbachev as a political slogan for increased government transparency in the Soviet Union.Guerrilla war in the Baltic states
The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.Jamaican political conflict
The Jamaican political conflict is a long standing feud between right-wing and left-wing elements in the country, often exploding into violence. The Jamaican Labor Party and the People's National Party have fought for control of the island for years and the rivalry has encouraged urban warfare in Kingston. Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to been backed by the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro.Johnson Doctrine
The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.Le Cercle
Le Cercle is a foreign policy think-tank specialising in international security. Set up after World War II, the group has members from twenty-five countries and meets at least bi-annually, in Washington, D.C., United States.Nixon Doctrine
The Nixon Doctrine (also known as the Guam Doctrine) was put forth during a press conference in Guam on July 25, 1969 by US President Richard Nixon and later formalized in his speech on Vietnamization on November 3, 1969. According to Gregg Brazinsky, Nixon stated that "the United States would assist in the defense and developments of allies and friends", but would not "undertake all the defense of the free nations of the world." This doctrine meant that each ally nation was in charge of its own security in general, but the United States would act as a nuclear umbrella when requested. The Doctrine argued for the pursuit of peace through a partnership with American allies. The Nixon Doctrine implied the intentions of Nixon shifting the direction on international policies in Asia, especially aiming for "Vietnamization of the Vietnam War."Titoism
Titoism is described as the post-World War II policies and practices associated with Josip Broz Tito during the Cold War, characterized by an opposition to the Soviet Union.It usually represents Tito's Yugoslav doctrine in Cold War international politics. It emerged with the Yugoslav Partisans' liberation of Yugoslavia independently of, or without much help from, the Red Army, resulting in Yugoslavia being the only Eastern European country to remain "socialist, but independent" after World War II as well as resisting Soviet Union pressure to become a member of the Warsaw Pact.
Today, Titoism is also used to refer to Yugo-nostalgia, a longing for reestablishment or revival of Yugoslavism or Yugoslavia by the citizens of Yugoslavia's successor states.Ulbricht Doctrine
The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.
East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.
West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.Western Bloc
The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".