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Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

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Operation Cyclone

Leftist Coup Overthrows Centrist Afghan Government, Marxists Take Over
April 1978
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Soviets Felt Losing the Region
  • March of 1979 also marked the signing of the US backed peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. The Soviet leadership saw the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt as a major step in the expansion of US power in the region. In fact, one Soviet newspaper stated that Egypt and Israel were now “gendarmes of the Pentagon”. The Soviets viewed the treaty not only as a peace agreement between their erstwhile allies in Egypt and the U.S.-supported Israelis but also as some form of military pact.
  • In addition, the Soviets found America selling more than 5,000 missiles to Saudi Arabia and also supplying the Royalists in the North Yemeni Civil War against communist factions.
  • Also, the Soviet Union's previously strong relations with Iraq had recently soured. Iraq, in June 1978, began entering into friendlier relations with the West and buying French and Italian made weapons instead of Soviet weapons.

Soviets Invade in 1979 When Communist Regime is Threatened By Shiite Muslim Faction
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Brezinski on US Role in Encouraging Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
  • In a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski recalled: We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would...That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviets into the Afghan trap...The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War.
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Prime Minister Brezhnev
  • Among Brezhnev's legacy to his successors was the December 1979 decision to intervene in Afghanistan, where a communist regime was struggling with the US-sponsored Muslim radicals and other forces to hold power.
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Reagan Met with Muhajideen in White House
March 21, 1983
  • "To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson - that there are things in this world worth defending."
  • "To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors."
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Saudis Feared Khomeini Revolution & Soviet Advances Into Afghanistan
  • SAUDIS FEARED KHOMEINI REVOLUTION & SOVIET ADVANCES INTO AFGHANISTAN The United States was not the only country frightened by the Soviets and the Iranian situation. Saudi Arabia had a lot more to lose if the Soviets succeeded - or, for that matter, if Shiite Iran did. [source: America's Secret War, p. 11]
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Many Mujahideen Simply Tourists Posing with Gun in Afghanistan
  • MANY "MUJAHIDEEN" WERE SIMPLY TOURISTS WHO POSED WITH A GUN IN AFGHANISTAN Many were not serious about the war. Some Saudi tourists came to earn their jihad credentials. Their tour was organized so that they could step inside Afghanistan, get photographed discharging a gun, and promptly return home as a hero of Afghanistan. [source: Understanding Terror Networks, p. 58]
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