Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




During the 19th and early 20th centuries Afghanistan remained a buffer zone between Czarist Russia and British India. The struggle between these two powers to control the region or at least to deny such a control to their rival was called "The Great Game." When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan on December 27, 1979, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Kabul wrote in a telegram addressed to Washington "...the Great Game is over." The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the most recent Russian ambitious act to extend their control beyond their southern border. The Soviet control over Afghanistan lasted for more than a decade. From 1978 to 1986 four presidents ruled Afghanistan. All, except Hafizullah Amin, were installed and supported by the Soviet Government. President Amin, who forced himself to power by eliminating Noor Mohammad Taraki, ruled Afghanistan for one hundred and three days. The shaky relations between President Amin and the Soviet leaders forced Amin to reduce his dependency on the Soviet union and also to prevent further Soviet influence in Afghan affairs. In order to achieve his goals and to assure his survival. Amin tried to established closer relations with other countries, especially with Pakistan and the United States. Amin could neither improve his relations with the Soviet Union nor was he able to gain the trust of western countries including the United States government. His failed efforts ended with his murder. Amin's personality, his relations with his predecessor Noor Mohammed Taraki, and his relations with the United States is the subject of this thesis. This research also focuses on the factors contributing to the invasion of Afghanistan and Hafizullah Amin's search for survival.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of History and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1993 Shaista Wahab