The Soviets in Afghanistan: A Threat to American Security
Nieuwburg, W.J. van
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Securitization Theory is a leading critical theory in the field of Security Studies which offers many benefits to security research, yet it has concerning limitations. This theory allows for the study of individual elements of this securitization process in case studies, such as the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan of 1979, the subsequent Soviet-Afghan War of 1979-1988, and the role of the USA in this conflict. This thesis seeks to understand the conception, debate, and execution surrounding US security concerns about the Soviet presence in late 1970’s Afghanistan. These events were conceived as an existential threat to US interests in the region. What these dangers were exactly, and how this security debate led to new foreign policy by the Carter administration, will be analysed through the conceptual framework of Securitization Theory. While the events of Cold War conflicts like this are well documented, there seems to be limited research done into the decision-making process. This thesis uses primary sources and secondary literature in the Securitization Theory framework to analyse this process. This approach might result in new insights and approaches to the Cold War, and other historical case studies, by highlighting the benefits and limitations to the Securitization Theory and reveal the decision-making process of US foreign policy during the Soviet-Afghan War.