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Wiederholt sich Geschichte? Die legitimatorischen Deutungsmuster der Interventionen in Afghanistan 1979 und 2001

Katja Mielke, Conrad Schetter

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Does History Repeat Itself? Legitimising Discourses and their Counter-Interpretations in the 1979 and 2001 Interventions in Afghanistan. This article provides a comparison of the legitimatising strategies used by the major stakeholders involved in the Soviet and NATO interventions of Afghanistan in 1979 and 2001 respectively. The article departs from the semantic distinction between „occupation“ and „intervention“. Through a look at the discourses surrounding the motives that were used to justify the initial military invasions, and the legitimising strategies evoked in the course of both the Soviet and the NATO interventions, it is shown that in both cases Islam was used in similar ways by the intervening parties as well as the opposition. Furthermore, it is found that the societal organization and structure of the Afghan population were neglected; this neglect resulted from the fact that both the interventions became detached from their initial objectives. The article argues that the „legitimisation-projects“ of both the Soviet and the NATO interventions became self-referencing. However, differences are also found. While the Soviet intervention marked a Cold War-trusteeship, the latest epitomizes the trend of new age interventions, which are characterized by an expansion of conventional forms of trusteeships beyond the responsibility to protect.