Wars in Peace: Russia in Afghanistan (1990)
by Chris Sheridan
The Soviet War in Afghanistan was a ten-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan at their own request against the Islamist Mujahideen Resistance. The mujahideen found other support from a variety of sources including the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and other Muslim nations through the context of the Cold War. The initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979 under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Due to the interminable nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has often been referred to as the Soviets' Vietnam; the analogy compares the conflict to America's role in the Vietnam War.