The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan has reached its eighth year. During this time over 5 million Afghans have been forced to leave their homeland and thousands have been the victims of bombardments and attacks. Being a citizen of the country, I can solemnly claim that every Afghan seeks an immediate withdrawal of Soviet forces.
Unfortunately, one can see little hope in terms of a Soviet withdrawal presently. In the past pressure has been put on the Soviets to abandon their military interests in Afghanistan. For instance, the boycott of the 1980 Olympics and the grain embargo did serve as important factors, reminding the Soviets that the U.S. is not taking their atrocious behavior lightly. However, since none of these has had any apparent influence on the Soviet leaders, the need for more direct persuasion, and possibly, pressure has risen.
Hence, I see the superpower arms summit (to be held on Dec. 7) with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as the opportune setting to officially seek an immediate withdrawal. It can be stated that the nuclear arms reduction serves as a stepping stone toward world peace. If peace is truly sought by the leaders, then the situation in Afghanistan should not be ignored.