|10th United States Ambassador to Afghanistan|
June 27, 1978 –February 14, 1979
|Preceded by||Theodore L. Eliot, Jr.|
|Succeeded by|| J. Bruce Amstutz (as chargé d'affaires)|
Robert Finn (as Ambassador, 2002)
|Born||August 4, 1920|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||February 14, 1979 58) (aged|
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Adolph "Spike" Dubs – February 14, 1979) was the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan from May 13, 1978, until his death in 1979. He was killed during a rescue attempt after his kidnapping.(August 4, 1920
Dubs was born in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Beloit College in 1942 with a degree in political science. While at Beloit, classmates who said they did not want to refer to Dubs by the first name of an enemy dictator, gave him the nickname "Spike," which stuck for the rest of his life. Dubs served in the United States Navy during World War II. Later, he completed graduate studies at Georgetown University and foreign service studies at Harvard University and Washington University in St. Louis.He subsequently entered the United States Foreign Service as a career diplomat, and his postings included Germany, Liberia, Canada, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union. He became a noted Soviet expert, and in 1973–74 he served as ranking charge d'affaires at the United States Embassy in Moscow.
At the time of his death he was married to his second wife Mary Anne Dubs, a Washington-based journalist. He was previously married for over 30 years to Jane Wilson Dubs (1922-1993), his college girlfriend from Beloit College, whom he married in 1945 and divorced in 1976. He had one daughter, Lindsay Dubs McLaughlin (1953–), who lives in West Virginia.
In 1978, Dubs was appointed United States Ambassador to Afghanistan following the Saur Revolution, a coup d'état which brought the Soviet-aligned Khalq faction to power.He was being driven from his residence to the U.S. embassy slightly before 9 a.m. on February 14, 1979, on the same day that Iranian militants attacked the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, and just months before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He was approaching the U.S. Cultural Center when four men stopped his armored black Chevrolet limousine. Some accounts say that the men were wearing Afghan police uniforms, while others state that only one of the four was wearing a police uniform. The men gestured to the car to open its windows, which were bulletproof, and the ambassador's driver complied. The militants then threatened the driver with a pistol, forcing him to take Dubs to the Kabul Serena Hotel in downtown Kabul. The abduction occurred within sight of Afghan police. Dubs was held in Room 117 on the first floor of the hotel, and the driver was sent to the U.S. embassy to tell the U.S. of the kidnapping.
At the hotel, the abductors allegedly demanded that the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) release "one or more religious or political prisoners.""No demands were made of the American government, nor did the DRA ever give a complete or consistent account of the kidnappers' desires." Some accounts state that the militants demanded the exchange of Tahir Badakhshi, Badruddin Bahes (who may have already been dead), and Wasef Bakhtari.
The U.S. urged waiting in order not to endanger Dubs' life, but the Afghan police disregarded these pleas to negotiate and attacked on the advice of Soviet officers.The weapons and flak jackets used by the Afghans were provided by the Soviets, and the hotel lobby had multiple Soviet officials, including the KGB security chief, the lead Soviet advisor to the Afghan police, and the second secretary at the Soviet embassy. At the end of the morning, a shot was heard. Afghan police then stormed Room 117 with heavy automatic gunfire. After a short, intense firefight, estimated at 40 seconds to one minute, Dubs was found dead, killed by shots to the head. Two abductors died in the firefight, as well. An autopsy showed that he had been shot in the head from a distance of six inches. The other two abductors were captured alive but were shot shortly after; their bodies were shown to U.S. officials before dusk.
The true identity and aims of the militants are uncertain,and the crime "has never been satisfactorily explained" although U.S., Afghan, and Soviet officials "were all but eyewitnesses" to it. The circumstances have been described as "mysterious" and "still clouded." Several factors obscured the events, including the killing of the surviving captors, lack of forensic analysis of the scene, lack of access for U.S. investigators, and planting of evidence. Soviet or Afghan conspiracy was not proven.
Some attribute responsibility for the kidnapping and murder to the leftist anti-Pashtun group Settam-e-Melli,but others consider that to be dubious, pointing to a former Kabul policeman who has claimed that at least one kidnapper was part of the Parcham faction of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Disinformation that was spread in the Soviet and Afghan press after the murder blamed the incident on the CIA, Hafizullah Amin, or both. Anthony Arnold suggested that "it was obvious that only one power… would benefit from the murder—the Soviet Union," as the death of the ambassador "irrevocably poisoned" the U.S.-Afghan relationship, "leaving the USSR with a monopoly of great power influence over" the Nur Muhammad Taraki government. Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski stated that Dubs' death "was a tragic event which involved either Soviet ineptitude or collusion", while the Afghan handling of the incident was "inept." The Taraki government refused U.S. requests for an investigation into the death.
The Carter administration was outraged by the murder of the ambassador and by the conduct of the Afghan government, and began to disengage from Afghanistan and express sympathy with Afghan regime opponents. million by half and canceled all planned military aid of $250,000, and the U.S. terminated all economic support by December 1979, when the Soviet occupation of the country was complete. The Afghan government aimed to diminish the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and restricted the number of Peace Corps volunteers and cultural exchange programs. On July 23, the State Department announced the withdrawal of non-essential U.S. embassy staff from Kabul and the majority of the diplomats as security deteriorated, and the U.S. only had some 20 staff members in Kabul by December. Dubs was not replaced by a new ambassador, and a chargé d'affaires led the skeleton staff at the embassy.The incident hastened the decline in U.S.-Afghan relations, causing the United States to make a fundamental reassessment of its policy. In reaction to Dubs' murder, the U.S. immediately cut planned humanitarian aid of $15
The death of Dubs was listed as a "Significant Terrorist Incident" by the State Department.Documents released from the Soviet KGB archives by Vasily Mitrokhin in the 1990s showed that the Afghan government clearly authorized the assault despite forceful demands for peaceful negotiations by the U.S., and that KGB adviser Sergei Batrukhin may have recommended the assault, as well as the execution of a kidnapper before U.S. experts could interrogate him. The Mitrokhin archives also indicate that the fourth kidnapper escaped and the body of a freshly killed prisoner served as a substitute for the U.S. inspection. Other questions remain unanswered.
Dubs is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Dubs is commemorated by the American Foreign Service Association with a plaque in the Truman Building in Washington, D.C.,and by a memorial in Kabul.
Camp Dubs, named after Dubs, is a U.S. military camp at the Darul Aman Palace in southwest Kabul.
Hafizullah Amin was an Afghan communist politician during the Cold War. Amin was born in Paghman and educated at Kabul University, after which he started his career as a teacher. After a few years in that occupation, he went to the United States to study. He would visit the United States a second time before moving permanently to Afghanistan, and starting his career in radical politics. He ran as a candidate in the 1965 parliamentary election but failed to secure a seat. Amin was the only Khalqist elected to parliament in the 1969 parliamentary election, thus increasing his standing within the party. He was one of the leading organizers of the Saur Revolution which overthrew the government of Mohammad Daoud Khan. In 1979 he named himself president, prime minister, and chairman of the Khalq wing. He has been described as "ruthless" and a "radical Marxist".
Khadamat-e Aetla'at-e Dawlati translates directly to English as: "State Intelligence Agency". However, this phrase is more precisely translated as "State Information Services", Khadamat-e Aetela'at-e Dawlati, almost always known by its acronym KHAD, is the main security agency and intelligence agency of Afghanistan, and also served as the secret police during the Soviet occupation. The successor to AGSA and KAM, KHAD was nominally part of the Afghan state, but it was firmly under the control of the Soviet KGB until 1989. In January 1986 its status was upgraded and it was thereafter officially known as the "Ministry of State Security".
Najibullah Ahmadzai, commonly known as Najibullah or Dr. Najib, was the President of Afghanistan from 1987 until 1992, when the mujahideen took over Kabul. He had previously held different careers under the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and was a graduate of Kabul University. Following the Saur Revolution and the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, Najibullah was a low profile bureaucrat: he was sent into exile as Ambassador to Iran during Hafizullah Amin's rise to power. He returned to Afghanistan following the Soviet intervention which toppled Amin's rule and placed Babrak Karmal as head of state, party and government. During Karmal's rule, Najibullah became head of the KHAD, the Afghan equivalent of the Soviet KGB. He was a member of the Parcham faction led by Karmal.
The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen, as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government, mostly in the countryside. The mujahideen groups were backed primarily by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran.
Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin was a major and senior archivist for the Soviet Union's foreign intelligence service, the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, who defected to the United Kingdom in 1992 after providing the British embassy in Riga with a vast collection of KGB files, which became known as the Mitrokhin Archive. The intelligence files given by Mitrokhin to the MI6 exposed an unknown number of Russian agents, including Melita Norwood.Also disclosing Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on how she made India for sale.
The First Main Directorateof the Committee for State Security under the USSR council of ministers was the organization responsible for foreign operations and intelligence activities by providing for the training and management of covert agents, intelligence collection administration, and the acquisition of foreign and domestic political, scientific and technical intelligence for the Soviet Union. The First Chief Directorate was formed within the KGB directorate in 1954, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union became the Foreign Intelligence Service. The primary foreign intelligence service in Russia and the Soviet Union has been the GRU, a military intelligence organization and special operations force.
Leonid Vladimirovich Shebarshin became head of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB in January 1989, when the former FCD chief, Vladimir Kryuchkov, was promoted to KGB chief. Prior to that, Shebarshin had served as Kryuchkov's deputy from April 1987.
Professor Abdul Ghafoor Ravan Farhâdi is an Afghan academic and diplomat who served as Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 2006.
Afghanistan–United States relations can be traced to 1921, but the first contact between the two occurred further back in the 1830s when the first recorded person from the United States was visiting Afghanistan. In the last decade, Afghan-American relations have become stronger than ever before. Afghanistan and the United States have a very strong and friendly strategic partnership. In 2012, relations became even closer when the President of the United States, Barack Obama declared Afghanistan a Major non-NATO ally. According to a 2012 BBC poll, the U.S. was the most favored country in Afghanistan.
The "Mitrokhin Archive" is a collection of handwritten notes made secretly by KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin during his thirty years as a KGB archivist in the foreign intelligence service and the First Chief Directorate. When he defected to the United Kingdom in 1992 he brought the archive with him.
Operation Storm-333 was a special operation that took place on 27 December 1979, in which Soviet forces stormed the Tajbeg Palace in Afghanistan and assassinated Afghan President Hafizullah Amin. Tajbeg Palace was guarded by Afghan National Army. In the ensuing battle, Afghan armed forces suffered major losses. An unknown number of Afghan palace guards were killed while 150 were captured. Amin's 11-year-old son died from shrapnel wounds. A total of 1,700 Afghan soldiers surrendered to Soviet troops and were taken as prisoners. The Soviets installed Babrak Karmal as Amin's successor.
The Saur Revolution, also called the April Revolution or April Coup, was a coup d'état led by the Soviet-backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) against the rule of Afghan President Mohammed Daoud Khan on 27–28 April 1978. Daoud Khan and most of his family were killed at the presidential palace. The revolution resulted in the creation of a government with Nur Muhammad Taraki as President, and was the precursor to the 1979 intervention by the Soviets and the 1979–1989 Soviet–Afghan War against the Mujahideen.
Zamir Kabulov is a high rank career diplomat and Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan. He was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan until September 21, 2009.
Afghanistan–Canada relations are relations between Afghanistan and Canada.
The KGB, translated in English as Committee for State Security, was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its break-up in 1991. As a direct successor of preceding agencies such as the Cheka, NKGB, NKVD and MGB, the committee was attached to the Council of Ministers. It was the chief government agency of "union-republican jurisdiction", acting as internal security, intelligence and secret police. Similar agencies were constituted in each of the republics of the Soviet Union aside from Russian SFSR, and consisted of many ministries, state committees and state commissions.
Settam-e-Melli, variously romanized as Setam-i-Milli, Setami Milli, Setam-i-Meli, Setam-e-Meli, Setami-i-Milli, and Setame Melli, was a political movement in Afghanistan, led by Tahir Badakhshi. The organization was affiliated with the Non-Aligned Movement, and was opposed by both the Afghan monarchy and by the Soviet-aligned People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Its followers were mostly Persian speakers. Most of its members were non-Pashtuns—Tajik, Uzbek, and other minorities—and it has been variously described as an anti-Pashtun separatist group and as a Tajik and Uzbek separatist group. "Information on Settam-e-Melli is vague and contradictory, but it appears to have been an anti-Pashtun leftist mutation."
Mohammad Anwar Anwarzai is the Head of United Nations Department at the Afghan Foreign Ministry and the former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan.
J. Bruce Amstutz is an American Career Foreign Service Officer who served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim to Afghanistan from February 1979 until February 1980.
Theodore L. Eliot, Jr.
| United States Ambassador to Afghanistan |
J. Bruce Amstutz
(Ambassador in 2002)