What has taken place in Afghanistan should be understood as a "revolution", a long-cycle of it, to use terminology of Lenin.
The country started on the road of Industrial revolution after the end of WWII. That's when modern antagonistic classes and parties started to develop. The country went through "democratic" stage of revolution when, as a result of a palace coup (1973), the king was overthrown, and the new "President" attempted to take the road of reform and industrialization.
- Zahir, shah (king) from 1933 to 1973. In encyclopedia "Encarta" he is portrayed as a kind old man, handing Qur'an to Hamid Karzai. Just to make sure where he stands in politics, we note that on June 22, 1941, he has donated some of his money to Kabul mosques to thank Allah for Hitler attacking the USSR.
- Daud, khan (prince), president of the Republic from 17 July 1973 to 27 April1978. One of the former CIA agents said about him that Daud was most happy when he could light up his American cigarette with Soviet matches. In other words, Daud has tried to play the USSR against the USA in order to gain material resources for industrialization and development of Afghanistan.
The country switched to "socialist" stage of revolution in 1978, when the President
was overthrown (and in fact killed), and his place was taken by dictatorship of a left wing party.
- Taraki, leader of Khalq faction of People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), president of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) from 30/4/78 to 16/9/1979
- Amin, leader of Khalq, president of DRA from 16 September to 27 December 1979.
As other factions within PDPA were repressed, the class struggle took the form of a struggle within "Khalq", with the result that an Afghani equivalent of Stalin (H. Amin) coming to power. But this was not to the taste of Moscow who saw itself as calling the shots. And so this dictator was overthrown with the help of the Soviet elite units, and a ruler to the taste of Moscow rolled into the capital on Soviet tanks. Meanwhile, he had no support of the population. And that's how the revolution got to the stage of Thermidor.
After a prolonged period of civil war, the "Bear" was forced to withdraw. And so the
regime of "Parcham" faced one-on-one the counterrevolution sponsored by the United States. It proved worthless and so in 1992 it fell.
- Karmal, leader of Parcham faction of PDPA, president of DRA from 27 December 1979 to 20 November, 1986
- Najibullah, leader of Parcham, president of the Republic from 30 September 1987 to 16 April 1992
The armed counter-revolution triumphs, and the period of Restoration sets in. However, the different gangs can not divide up the spoils amongst themselves, and so the country eventually falls to Taliban, which appeared on the arena of Afghanistan as "a third force".
- Hekmatiyar emerges as the unofficial leader of the mujahideen prior to 1992. Wikipedia writes: "In 2016, he signed a peace deal with the Afghan government, allowing his return to Afghanistan after almost 20 years in exile".
- Mojaddedi, interim President of the Islamic State from 28 Apr to 28 Jun 1992; head of the pro-monarchy mujahed party JNMA
- Rabbani, one of the founders of the Mujahideen movement. A President of the Islamic State from 28 Jun 1992; head of the mujahed party JIA; forced to flee Kabul on 26 Sep 1996 by Taliban; in rebellion during the Taliban rule (1996-2001), recognized by most countries and the United Nations as the legitimate president of Afghanistan; political leader of the anti-taliban UINFSA, or Northern Alliance, since 13 Jun 1997. Wikipedia writes : "He later became head of Afghanistan National Front (known in the media as United National Front), the largest political opposition to Hamid Karzai's government. On 20 September 2011, Rabbani was assassinated by a suicide bomber entering his home in Kabul. As suggested by the Afghan parliament, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai gave him the title of "Martyr of Peace". His son Salahuddin Rabbani was chosen in April 2012 to lead efforts to forge peace in Afghanistan with the Taliban."
- Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban movement and regime in Afghanistan, 1996-2001. Wikipedia writes: "In July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, collaborating with the United Nations to eradicate heroin production in Afghanistan, declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the world's most successful anti-drug campaigns. The Taliban enforced a ban on poppy farming via threats, forced eradication, and public punishment of transgressors. The result was a 99% reduction in the area of opium poppy farming in Taliban-controlled areas, roughly three quarters of the world's supply of heroin at the time. The ban was effective only briefly due to the deposition of the Taliban in 2002."
The country is now pretty much under the U.S. and German military control. However, the "President" is no more than a mayor of Kabul, as each province and major cities are ruled by former warlords, the field commanders from the era of war against the Soviets.
- Ismail Khan (1946-), Tajik warlord and governor of Herat; former anti-taliban chief linked to the UINFSA (1997-2001), or Northern Alliance. He is now a minister of Water and Energy.
- Abdul Rashid Dostum (1954-), Uzbek general and warlord based on Mazar-e-Sharif; head of the JMI party; member of the anti-taliban UINFSA (1997-2001), or Northern Alliance. In Dec 2001 named deputy minister of Defence of the Interim Administration chaired by Hamid Karzai. He is now "Vice-President" of Afghanistan.
Some southern and eastern provinces (see map) are controlled by Taliban. Thus, a cycle of revolution, in the long run, consists of:
1) a start of an Industrial revolution (end of WWII - 1970's);
2) a democratic stage of revolution (Daud-khan).
3) a socialist stage ("Khalq")
4) a Stalinist counter-revolution - Thermidor (the rule of "Parcham")
5) A military victory of counter-revolution leads to social Restoration* (Taliban, Karzai regime).
The experience of the English and French Restoration regimes, plus the shaky ground upon which the current regime rests, tells us to expect a new wave of revolution will roll into Afghanistan.