Blog Week 4

The Red Template reading which described the U.S. policies in Afghanistan, which was then occupied by the Soviets. The Soviets interest in Afghanistan would be a concern for the Untied States as it was noted, once the state had been seized by the Soviets, it could not return to capitalism. Probably equally as pressing as the spread of socialist influence was the oil that the U.S. would lose if the Soviets gained control. The U.S. was quick to back the Islamic extremest group that was fighting to overthrow the regime, although, this was just to protect foreign affairs with little consideration of the implications this would have on the victorious Islamic militants.

“The framework of US foreign policy-to dominate the world’s resources-had worked quite well for the conservative ideological policy makers in the context of the Cold War. These right-wing veterans were not accustomed to interpreting and formulating policy outside of the cold war context.”

This was definitely apparent as the U.S. supported military operations of the group that would eventually become Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants. In the quote above it recognizes this disregard for the implications as the outcome of what we had seen as successful Cold War policies. However, it does not really seem that anything was learned from the U.S. displays a similar tactic again when it agrees to funnel aid to Packistan through ISI:

” The ISI allocated most of the weapons and resources to the most extreme funda- mentalist groups among the mujihadin.”

Again, the United States was concerned with the oil and failed to consider the implications of these decisions, and thought of things through their own perspective failing to recognize the Afghan resistance was so ruthless and ” There were no Thomas Jeffersons on a white horse among the Afghan resistance leaders ” It is interesting at the end when di points out that much of the conflict present today could have been avoided if America had been more concerned with establishing peace in Afghanistan after the soviets withdrew.

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2 thoughts on “Blog Week 4

  1. I interestingly was just watching the film “Air Force One” with my grandpa tonight, and I was fascinated with the fact that the amorphous (accented — always must speak English with an accent) evil-doing group were from a former satellite soviet country. The “naive-emotionalism” that this article discusses has become so ingrained in American popular culture that it is essentially subliminal propaganda. With the resurgence in popularity for all of these comic-book super hero films, we’re seeing even more and more repetition of these Cold War fears. If I’m not mistaken, every “enemy” nation/group in these “highest grossing films of the year” has been either Middle Eastern or Russian/Soviet. That isn’t an unimportant phenomenon…popular culture is a mechanism for reflecting or altering public opinion, and if we are *still* looking at these people as enemies, then we haven’t really left the Cold War era.

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  2. I mirrored your feelings about the negligence the United States showed by abandoning the peaceable interests of Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew. The U.S was much more concerned about the powerful expanse of the Soviets rather than a few ‘Stirred-Up’ Muslims, as the article states. This derogatory term reflects how little regard the U.S. carried for the culture and esteem of Afghanis. Was it morally acceptable to exchange a few of those ‘stirred-up’ Muslim lives to keep the Soviets off balance? Were there other alternatives that did not involve corruption? I think so. Sad that unless you’re visibly an industrial giant, the U.S. does not mind if your population lives in squalor in refugee camps and falls into the hands of anarchy. This reminds me of the Palestinian Refugee crisis in certain ways, considering the U.S. financially endorsed Israel while Palestinians live in tattered camps.

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