chapter  3
21 Pages

The New Regime

WithAmin Saikal, William Maley

The Soviets immediately recognised the new regime, and began to pour massive economic and military aid, as well as advisers to assist in the running of the Kabul bureaucracy, and improve the operational capacity of the armed forces. In Afghanistan, the new regime moved immediately against urban notables whom the regime feared might be a source of opposition and a focus for other discontented elements. In restricting ownership of prime lands to amounts totally inadequate for animal pasture, the regime showed a particular disregard for the needs of the two million pastoral nomads in Afghanistan. The events of September 1979 were a culmination of intensifying Soviet concern about the directions which regime policies in Afghanistan were taking. The Soviet invasion sparked off a great deal of debate, especially in the West, about possible wider Soviet motives.