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tv   Students of War - The Rise of...  BBC News  September 12, 2021 2:30pm-2:59pm BST

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vaccine passports in england, ahead of plans to protect the nhs from rising covid cases this winter the trade union congress warns that up to 660,000 jobs could be at risk, if the uk fails to reach net zero carbon emissions as quickly as other countries. and the anti—immigration hungarian prime minister victor 0rban meets pope francis in budapest. now on bbc news...with rare interviews and archive, yalda hakim examines the rise of the taliban after the soviet occupation of afghanistan. back in control. after nearly 20 years of conflict, thousands of lives lost and trillions of dollars spent,
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the taliban has seen off the us, nato and their afghan allies. a stunning success for them and another superpower humbled in the streets and fields of afghanistan. but to understand these events and the origins of the taliban, we need to go back to the cold war.
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the bloody aftermath of the soviet occupation set the ground for a new force to emerge. they were really seen as, you know, angels, these young angels who'd arrived to save the country. on december 27th, 1979, soviet special forces stormed the presidential palace in kabul.
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the president, hafizullah amin was killed. this was the start of the soviet invasion of afghanistan. the soviets had invaded to shore up the communist government. afghanistan's communists had taken power in a coup in 1978, but opposition to the radical modernisation programme, together with internal communist party squabbling, had resulted in crisis. moscow ran out of patience. after assassinating president amin, soviet forces poured into afghanistan and occupied the major cities.
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this was the first time in the cold war that a regular armed force — tanks, jet fighters, was crossing into another country and occupying it. now, if they had their own jet fighters, at the air force base
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in bagram and herat, they would place, be within range, to reach the persian gulf and have control of the world's oil supply.
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hundreds of thousands abandoned afghanistan. the refugee camps mushroomed along the borders inside pakistan and iran. the camps became a recruiting ground for the mujahideen — the holy warriors.
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in february 1980, president carter's security adviser zbigniew brzezinski visited the refugee camps along the afg han—pakistan border. that land over there is yours. you'll go back to it one day, because your fight will prevail, and you'll have your homes, your mosques back again, because your cause is right
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and god is on your side. as more and more afghans poured over the border into pakistan, a lot of them didn't want to stay in pakistan as refugees, some of them wanted to go back and fight, but they wanted weapons to go and do it with, and other kinds of assistance. that was an opportunity that president carter took advantage of. the americans knew the local arms industry could never supply the demand for weapons, and with the saudis matching the american contribution dollar for dollar, the mujahideen started to get better equipment. we begin to procure weapons, import them and get them to pakistan, where the pakistani army built the beginning of what grew into an enormous support structure to receive weapons that would come in by sea, move them to the borders, get them to camps, in some
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instances train mujahideen, who would then take the weapons inside afghanistan and attack the soviets. all the weapons that we gave them were made — most of them were made in communist countries, we just bought them from the communists and then sent them into afghanistan. they used polish aks, czechoslovakian aks, hungarian aks, chinese aks, everybody�*s aks, and within a year of beginning that programme, we had armed about 400,000 mujahideen.
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peshawar in pakistan became a centre for the numerous competing mujahideen groups and their international supporters. weapons were pouring in, and the distribution was controlled by the pakistan intelligence service, the isi. the isi actually, you know, gave out bullet per bullet to their favourites. and who were their favourites but the most similar islamist and ha rdline islamists?
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you know, this was a way for the pakistani army to really exert its influence inside afghanistan, because what they hoped eventually was that the islamists would win and the soviets would leave, and pakistan would have its proxies inside kabul. the mujahideen, with better weapons and knowledge of the terrain, were not an easy force to defeat. the afghan government and the soviets controlled the main cities and communication routes. but vast tracts of the country were beyond their control.
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for four years after the soviet invasion, the war raged on. during this time, much of the afghan army deserted or defected to the mujahideen, but neither side was winning. ismail khan was a mujahideen commander in the north—west of afghanistan.
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in 1985, president ronald reagan decided to expand us aid to the afghan guerillas. the mujahideen were to be given a sophisticated new weapon — the stinger, a portable land—to—air missile. meanwhile, in moscow, the soviet union had a new leader, mikael gorbachev prepared to embark on a programme of reforms he hoped would revitalise the soviet union. one of his main aims was to get soviet troops out of afghanistan. gorbachev first replaced karmal with a new leader, mohammad najibullah, the former head of the hated secret police.
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he also agreed to peace talks. the united nations peace talks in geneva began in 1986, aiming to end the war. americans wanted mujahideen involvement. the soviets insisted the communist afghan government remain. the soviets insisted on supporting the afghan communists, which was then president najibullah, and they said then they would continue supporting with food and weapons and money. so the americans had turned around and said if you're going to do that we're going to continue supporting the afghan mujahideen. so, ok, you leave, but the afghan mujahideen and the afghan communists will continue fighting each other, this was essentially it. so geneva didn't bring peace — i mean, there was no illusion about that — geneva was not going to bring peace. it was only a cover, basically, for the soviets to leave. on february 15, 1989, the last soviet troops left afghanistan.
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the soviets left behind them a country devastated. they had lost 15,000 men, but1 million afghans had been killed and over 4 million wounded. 5 million had fled the country as refugees. altogether, one quarter of the afghan population was displaced by the war. and the fighting still continued. the mujahideen and the communist regime in kabul were locked in stalemate.
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in 1991, a failed coup in moscow brought about the collapse of the soviet union and the russians stopped funding their communist proxies in kabul. with the soviet union no more, america stopped supplying arms to the mujahideen. our goals had not been, really, to build a new
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afghanistan and our own internal debate over what's the future of what's the future the soviet union affected our strategy towards the afghan resistance. we decided to abandon the afghan resistance. and to focus, really, on recovering the stinger missiles and taking them out of the hands of possible future terrorist attacks. with the us and soviets gone, the field was left open for others to exert their influence. the pakistanis were backing gulbuddin hekmatyar to come into power. the iranians and the indians were backing rabbani and massoud. the un was trying to put together a coalition government with communist elements, as well as with the mujahideen elements. so everybody was doing their own thing. by 1992, two of the strongest mujahideen parties were closing in on kabul.
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those coming down from the north were led by ahmad shah massoud. his better rival gulbuddin hekmatyar was moving up from the south—east. najibullah's government collapsed and he took shelter in the united nations compound in the city. on 25 april, 1992, hekmatyar and massoud's men both entered kabul. massoud and hekmatyar now fought for control in the streets of kabul. hekmatyar�*s men were forced out of the city and took up positions in the hills and started shelling the capital. burhanuddin rabbani was the leader in waiting of the new islamic government.
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there had long been attempts internally to bring about a broad mujahideen coalition, but all efforts had failed. for the next four years the country was torn apart by inter—factional fighting. in kabul, thousands were killed in indiscriminate bombing.
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with chaos and anarchy a across afghanistan, a new force emerged on the scene. radical islamist students known as the taliban joined the fight for control of the country.
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the taliban came with a very simple message. they said we will bring peace, we will disarm the population, which is exactly what the public wanted — in other words, disarm the warlords. and we will then refer to our elders and we will liberate the country and we will then, we will not take power ourselves, we will call a jirga, which is a tribal council, of all the elders of the country and they we will decide who should rule the country. the taliban had been trained in schools or madrasses in pakistan, which had been funded by saudi arabia. they swept into southern afghanistan and took kandahar with little resistance. they were really seen as,
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you know, angels, these young angels who'd arrived to save the country. but any thoughts that the taliban were angelic young idealists soon faded. two more years of vicious fighting followed, including a 10—month bombardment of kabul before the taliban finally took the capital on 27 september, 1996. the taliban couldn't be defeated because they had enormous military support from pakistan, saudi arabia, all the gulf states, and arabs were extremely ruthless, brutal fighters and gave them a whole new dimension, new tactics a new, you know, kind of weaponry and retrained them. by the time they reached kabul, the leadership of the taliban is saying we will seize power, we will rule this country. the first act as victors was the torture and execution
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of former communist leader najibullah and his brother, whose bodies were hanged from a lamppost. the 2a hours the taliban imposed a strict interpretation of islamic law. they banned all women from work, which led to the health service and schools almost completely closing down. they enforced a strict dress code, with head to toe cover for women and men ordered to grow beards. music and art were banned. thieves had their hands and feet amputated. adulterers were stoned to death. anyone drinking liquor faced the lash. 20 years after the communists
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had taken power in kabul in an armed coup, afghanistan was being run by a group of extreme islamists. just as the soviets had wanted to make afghanistan a bastion of world communism, now the taliban's most extreme arab supporters, al-qaeda, wanted to use the country as a base to launch
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the al-qaeda attacks on us soil would soon lead to another great power becoming directly engaged in afghanistan. america, with bombers, special forces, and money, supported the mujahideen groups who had continued to fight the taliban, united as the northern alliance. it took just five weeks of fighting for the alliance to reach kabul. and on 12 november, 2001, they took the city.
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the taliban and al-qaeda fled to the mountains. today, after 20 years of western intervention in afghanistan, countless deaths, and trillions of dollars spent, history has turned full circle. the taliban are back in power. many afghans now fear a dark and uncertain while the us and western allies have left the field humiliated byjust a few tens of thousands of modestly armed fighters. afghanistan, so long the site for proxy wars between nations, militias, and terrorist groups, faces a new chapter in its turbulent history.
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hello. the weather over the next two to three days will be a little unpredictable, at least in some parts of the country. because of this pattern on the jet stream. look at this inverted s. it goes northwards, leaps down and then back up northwards, leaps down and then back up again and there's very little wind across the uk at the moment. there is a weather front crossing is right now. you can see it here almost like a wave. it is bringing some rain to parts of wales in the south—west of england place is really quite damp, a concentrated area of rain that will splinter the north of england, just bits and spots here, i think, and temperatures here will be mostly in the teens but the warm and brightened by those most in the south—east whereas we have got sunny
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and fresh conditions but only about 13 in aberdeen and that is because the winds are coming in from the north but when i went might mention the fact is quite predictable. notice the winds are coming from the south here, blowing from the knob there, whetherfrom south here, blowing from the knob there, whether from stock in between and that means it is very very slow—moving and in fact it will be very slow—moving moving across the southern half of the uk the next two or three days so getting the timing right of where exactly it is going to rain and for how long is going to be quite tricky. here is the forecast from monday. some rain gets into south—western england but notice that that main has a tendency to sweep a little bit further north and not much is with the question so, again, ithink and not much is with the question so, again, i think on monday eastern areas will be staying dry, if not bright, but by the time you get to tuesday again that very sluggish rain will push eastward so it is in the west where we will see more sunshine weather is further east for a time, at least in the morning and early evening, that rain will linger
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before clearing up into the north sea. and i think from wednesday and into thursday that is when the weather will start to settle down and that's because an area of high pressure is building and we have got the azores here, this is called the azores high, you can see the snows of high pressure and what we often refer to is building towards the uk which means that parts of the country will see slightly higher temperatures and we will see the weather settling down there with the dry weather icons for london, for example. that's it. goodbye.
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this is bbc news. i'm luxmy gopal. the headlines: emma raducanu makes history at the us open, beating leylah fernandez to become the first british woman to win a grand slam singles final in 44 years. the queen is among those congratulating the teenager following her stunning victory in new york, just months after finishing her a—levels. to have a note from her, i was extremely honoured and very grateful that she took notice of my tennis. i can't believe it, i'm maybe going to frame that letter or something. the uk's health secretary says the government won't introduce vaccine passports in england, ahead of plans to protect the nhs from rising covid cases this winter. what i can say is we have looked at it properly and, while we should keep it in reserve as a potential option,


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