A F G H A N I S T A N
Afghan guerilla sentry Gul Mohamar on duty outside a rebel ammunition
dump keeps his RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher ready (Reuters/Bettmann Newsphotos).
1 9 7 3 - 1 9 9 0
Afghanistan, an underdeveloped, tribal-based country, deemed strategically insignificant by the U.S. for
decades, became a battleground for the bloodiest and costliest superpower proxy war of the 1980s.
Afghanistan, 1973-1990 contains a comprehensive, day-by-day record of the making of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.
Approximately 2,500 documents
representing over 15,000 pages of primary source materials--most rarely seen--are published here for the first time.
The overthrow of Afghan King Zahir Shah by his cousin, Mohammad Daud; events leading to the "Saur Revolution" in 1978;
Soviet military intervention in 1979; the entire span of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan; U.S. covert and overt efforts to
support the Afghan
rebels; internal and external negotiations to end the conflict are all here in microfiched copies of the actual documents originating
from the highest levels of the U.S. government.
What stimulated the U.S. to develop a sophisticated insurgency support operation for a rebellion led by Islamic religious leaders and
fought by mountain tribesmen? What was the nature of the debate among U.S. officials and members of Congress
over U.S. policy? What did the U.S. believe the rebels, fraught with ethnic and tribal rivalries, could accomplish against the armed forces of the Soviet Union? What effect did this
war have on Pakistan--the most important U.S. ally in South Asia? And what lessons has the U.S.
intelligence community drawn from this conflict and applied to America's emerging strategic doctrine of Low Intensity Warfare?
Why did the Soviet Union spend 10 years, billions of dollars, and nearly 20,000 lives trying to prop up a regime that seemed
constantly on the verge of collapse? Why did Gorbachev eventually call the Red Army home and leave the Afghan
government to fend for itself against formidable odds? And how did the Kabul regime manage to hold on to power without Soviet
No student, scholar, librarian or journalist trying to answer questions related to the Afghan war can do justice to their studies
without reviewing State Department cables from Kabul, Peshawar, Islamabad and Washington; intelligence reports from the CIA
and DIA; correspondence between Congress and the Executive Branch; field reports from AID officials in Pakistan, and the many
other previously classified materials found in this document set.
The Archive prepares extensive, printed finding aids for its collections. The Guide contains an extensive events chronology,
glossaries of key individuals, organizations and military terms and technologies, a bibliography of relevant secondary sources
(including foreign and rebel publications) and a document catalog. The catalog, organized chronologically, provides bibliographic
information for each document and lists all of the indexing phrases generated for each. This facilitates browsing through the
document descriptions and allows researchers to preview key details about documents before perusing the microfiche.The
Index contains subject and name indexes allowing researchers to pinpoint relevant documents in particular areas of study.
Documents in this Collection Include:
Afghanistan: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1973- 1990
Reproduces on microfiche approximately 2,500
documents totalling 15,000 pages which record U.S.
policy toward Afghanistan during the last 17 turbulent
years in the country's history.
- Arrangement and Access:
Microfiche are arranged chronologically. For ease of
use, the unique identification numbers assigned to
documents are printed in eye-legible type at the top
right hand corner and precede each document on the
Documents are reproduced on silver halide positive-
reading microfiche at a nominal reduction of 24x in
envelopes. They are archivally permanent and conform
to AIIM, BSI and ANSI standards. Any microfiche found
to be physically substandard will be replaced free of
A printed guide and index totalling over 1,000 pages
accompanies the microfiche collection. The Guide
contains an events chronology, glossaries of names,
organizations, military terms and technologies, a
bibliography of secondary sources and a chronological
listing of documents. The Index provides in-depth,
document-level access to subjects, individuals and
- Date of Publication:
- Orders and Inquiries
Return to National Security Archive Microfiche Sets.