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Changing Cold War Relations - afghanistan war

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Changing Cold War Relations - afghanistan war

  1. 1. LEARNING INTENTIONS • Explain why the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan • Describe the problems this invasion caused the Soviet Union
  2. 2. Russian involvement Afghanistan goes back to the 1800s and the ‘Great Game’ played with the UK. But why did the Soviets invade Afghanistan in 1979?
  3. 3. In 1978 a revolution in Afghanistan led to a Communist government taking over. Unsurprisingly, this Communist government was supported by the Soviet Union, found on Afghanistan’s border.
  4. 4. In the 1970s, the USA and Soviet Union had been involved in many disagreements in this area of the world. This included the USA signing agreements with Israel and Egypt, and also Saudi Arabia.
  5. 5. Not everyone in Afghanistan supported the revolution and Communist control. Many people wanted an Islamic government. This group was called the Mujahedeen. This divide caused a civil war in Afghanistan.
  6. 6. The Soviet Union badly wanted to keep the Communist government in power. This was important to promote communism, but also to give the Soviets good access to oil.
  7. 7. In December 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. They claimed the Communist government had invited them (meaning not really an invasion) but the USA was very angry.
  8. 8. The invasion led to the end of détente. A symbol of this was the Olympic Games; the USA refused to compete in Moscow in 1980 and the Soviet Union did likewise at the Los Angeles games in 1984.
  9. 9. The Soviets would ultimately stay in Afghanistan for ten years (leaving in 1989). Many people have said that this was a big a disaster for the Soviets as Vietnam had been for the USA.
  10. 10. The Soviet Army was simply not prepared to fight such a war. Like in Vietnam, the Afghan rebels fought a guerrilla war. Their knowledge of the country made them hard to find and kill.
  11. 11. The Soviet soldiers did not have the resources they needed to fight this type of war. Army boots lasted only a few days in the Afghan mountains. And Russian tanks were of use in such terrain.
  12. 12. Again like the USA, the Soviet used mass bombing as a tactic. As they bombed poor rural areas, millions of Afghans fled the country, moving to Pakistan and Iran.
  13. 13. At the same time the USA was secretly funding and training the Afghan rebels. This was partly to stop a Communist government, and also revenge for Russian actions in Vietnam.
  14. 14. Many people argue the USA’s actions ultimately hurt them. It was been claimed – although the USA disputes this – that one rebel trained and funded by the USA was Osama Bin Laden.
  15. 15. Just like the US in Vietnam, the Soviets ultimately had to withdraw from Afghanistan. It became clear they could not win, they could not afford it and in 1989 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ended the invasion.

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