Soviet Control and Marxist Government, 1980-89

Soviet Control and Marxist Government, 1980-89

Despite its fatal weaknesses, the DRA generated a remarkable politicalprocess during its short history. When Babrak Karmal was installed as head ofstate by invading Soviet forces at the beginning of 1980, his government facedcrippling disabilities. Installation by a foreign power prevented popularacceptance of the legitimacy of his government. Even though the Parchamis,themselves, had been among the groups most viciously persecuted by the Khalqis,their identification with Marxism and Soviet repression was not forgiven.Indeed, the decimation of their members forced the Soviets to insist onreconciliation between the two factions. The purging of Parchamis had left themilitary forces so dominated by Khalqis that the Soviets had no choice but torely upon Khalqi officers to rebuild the army.

Soviet miscalculation of what was required to crush Afghan resistance furtheraggravated the government's situation. The Afghan army was expected to carry theburden of suppressing opposition, which was to be done quickly with Sovietsupport. As the war of pacification dragged on for years, the Babrak Karmalgovernment was further weakened by the poor performance of its army.

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