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By Leslie H. Palmier

In this article, 12 authors talk about the level to which detente among the superpowers has been mirrored in Asia. the jobs of the U.S., the Soviet Union and China are thought of, including the location triumphing in these international locations which were the item of superpower rivalry.

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35 (New York: The Trilateral Commission, 1988), p. 31. For discussions of Asian Leninism see L. W. : Harvard University Press, 1985); R. Scalapino, 'Asia's Future', Foreign Affairs (Fall 1987), pp. 91-5 in particular; and R. Scalapino, 'Asia and the United States', Foreign Affairs, vol. LXIX (1990) no. I, pp. 89-115. One could argue that this structure has existed throughout the post-war era, but in fact it was not until the late 1960s when Japan had fully recovered from the war, the Soviet Union began to show increased interest in East Asia, and China emerged from its Cultural Revolution isolationism, that this quadrangular eqUilibrium of power really took shape.

Despite their lack of political sophistication, the mujahedin were popularly seen at this time as fighters for the country's freedom. It was clear that the war was not being won by the occupying forces and their Afghan allies. More worrying still for the Soviet leaders was that real revolution in Afghanistan was taking place in the countryside, in areas under the control of enlightened and well-organised guerrilla commanders who established schools, health clinics and a system of justice. The Afghan government, although branded by the world as communist, ignored the reform-minded young people in the provinces who tended to join the mujahedin, and instead wooed their reactionary tribal chiefs.

Najibullah pre-empted at least two coups against him by Party hardliners, in October 1988 and December the following year, and survived another, led by his Defence Minister, General Shahnawaz Tanai, in March 1990. With every failure Najibullah consolidated his position in the Party and the armed forces. His achievement is all the greater when the full scope of what the Soviet Government was asking of him is understood. In essence it was his agreement that the Soviet military had completed its duty and could no longer be expected to protect the Afghan government from what seemed at the time to be its likely overthrow following the withdrawal of the Soviets across the Oxus river.

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