chapter  1
8 Pages

Introduction

WithAmin Saikal, William Maley

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book describes the main resistance organisations, Sunni and Shiite, and examines the different strands of Sunni Islam in Afghanistan which have influenced the character of these organized groups. It discusses the relationship of these organized groups to the diverse, grassroots resistance generated from within the micro-societies of Afghanistan. The book deals with the various options before the Soviet leadership to break the stalemate. It examines events following the completion of the Soviet troop withdrawal, and the reasons why the widely-expected collapse of the communist regime did not come about. The book investigates the legacy of damage-human, economic, social, and political-left behind by the Soviets. It concludes with an account of how a stalemate came to develop in the Afghan War, underlining the inability of Soviet strategy to address and undermine the micro-societal foundations of Afghan resistance.