Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Soviet War in Afghanistan, 1979 - 1989


 Nearly twenty-five years ago, the Soviet Union pulled its last troops out of Afghanistan, ending more than nine years of direct involvement and occupation. The USSR entered neighboring Afghanistan in 1979, attempting to shore up the newly-established pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. In short order, nearly 100,000 Soviet soldiers took control of major cities and highways. Rebellion was swift and broad, and the Soviets dealt harshly with the Mujahideen rebels and those who supported them, leveling entire villages to deny safe havens to their enemy. Foreign support propped up the diverse group of rebels, pouring in from Iran, Pakistan, China, and the United States. In the brutal nine-year conflict, an estimated one million civilians were killed, as well as 90,000 Mujahideen fighters, 18,000 Afghan troops, and 14,500 Soviet soldiers. Civil war raged after the withdrawal, setting the stage for the Taliban's takeover of the country in 1996. As NATO troops move toward their final withdrawal this year, Afghans worry about what will come next, and Russian involvement in neighboring Ukraine's rebellion has the world's attention, it is worth looking back at the Soviet-Afghan conflict that ended a quarter-century ago. Today's entry is part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.


  1. The idea being that had America and the West not opposed Brezhneve, by supplying stinger missiles to the Mujaheddin, and other arms , then russians would have crushed the Afghans who gave birth to Taliban and AL Qaeda. Perhaps they would also have expanded into Khomeini's iran.

  2. Law of unintended consequences - the biggest Muslim fanatic militias in Afghanistan today were nurtured by the US to take on the USSR. Oops.

  3. But remember the Cold War mentality - the enemy of the Soviets right now are our friends. What will be in 10 years? Who cares?

  4. Things haven't changed. America went into Afghanistan11 years after Russia left

  5. The difference is that the USSR shows up uninvited.

  6. Who invited America?

  7. The Taliban when they sheltered and supplied Al Qaeda.
    The point is the USSR had no real need or reason to invade Afghanistan. The Americans had a very good reason to go over and give it a good thumping.

  8. who told you that, an Eskimo or his sled dog?

    "The US invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, after the Taliban refused
    to hand over al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, who was hiding in
    Afghanistan after being initially invited back to the country by former
    Mujahideen commander Abdul Rab Rassool Sayyaf. Bin Laden was considered the mastermind behind the deadliest attacks on US soil."


    That is not an invitation by any stretch of the imagination.

    The Russians had every reason to invade Afganistan too, and it was partly to intimidate Iran and other wannabee Islamic revolutions.

  9. That's right. Osama attacked the US, the Taliban gave him refuge and the US went in after him. Had the Taliban not sheltered Osama, the US would not have invaded.

  10. that is not an "invitation" as you claim, unless you are using the slang terminology instead of its real meaning.


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