In late December of 1979, The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in support Afghan communist government.
Muslim guerrilla fighters were challenging the new Communist Government. The Soviet Union felt the civil war offered an opportunity to extend their communist influence. (Encyclopedia Britannica) The following video offers a simplistic concise overview of the conflict.
Over the course of ten years, the Afghan intervention placed a heavy financial burden on the USSR. While the Soviets were able to mitigate cost by limiting the movement of their ground forces, ten years of conflict took a toll on the Soviet economy. In addition to the economic price, the Red Army failed to achieve decisive victory and were forced to leave the country in stalemate in early 1989. The following CIA Intelligence Assessment from 1987 highlights these claims.
Ultimately, the Afghan intervention is viewed as one of the straws that broke the camels back in terms of the fall of the Soviet Union. Ten years of warfare placed an economic drain on the economy. The Red Army’s failure to secure a victory further compounded the problem because it made the USSR look weak both home and abroad. Applying the lessons learned from history, it is interesting to study the United States invasion of Afghanistan. A strong argument can be made that the United States did not learn from the Soviet’s history. The United States has invested fifteen plus years into a counter insurgency, fighting the very people they armed two decades prior to the U.S. invasion. In a paper I wrote last semester, I cited a source which claimed that the Taliban still have a presence in over fifty percent of Afghanistan. Evidence supports the claim that the United States has fought the counter insurgency to a stalemate, just as the Soviets did in the 1980’s. It will be interesting to see what happens in Afghanistan when the U.S. pulls all of their troops out of the country.
Title Picture- https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=HcLid1xl&id=393B6018D58F9012043623A768BBE0FCC6665857&thid=OIP.HcLid1xlJlgNcUfdIdVJ7AEsDO&q=ussr+afghanistan+invasion&simid=608035961729583394&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0
Invasion picture- https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=OKZ2dAcM&id=EB2B7A29E8D4FBBD9B897DB7996D7204D677564B&thid=OIP.OKZ2dAcMSef3bZ2F4nJrMAEsC7&q=ussr+afghanistan+invasion&simid=608010466806268605&selectedIndex=12&ajaxhist=0
All other sources are hyperlinked or cited in text.