This is the abstract for a paper I wrote for my Research, Writing, and Analysis class. Consider it the teaser trailer for the feature presentation (full paper) that will be posted later this week.
The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979: The Ideologically Motivated Blunder of a Superpower
Just before Christmas in 1979, Soviet troops from the Red Army began to crash across the border with Afghanistan. Ten years later, they would limp back home, badly, and even fatally, wounded. The decade long war, a war in which they would hold every technological advantage, was no doubt unpredictably brutal and long to its planners. But should they have known better? This was their neighborhood they were playing in, not some distant, unfamiliar land. They had been front row witnesses, and occasionally participants, in the adventures and follies of empires in Afghanistan for decades. What caused them to repeat the mistakes of the past? Was it arrogance and reliance on their modern technological arsenal? Or was it what Louis Dupree once told William Maley, author of The Afghanistan Wars, that once Afghanistan is in your blood, you can never get rid of it? Did they just have the bug?
Through my research, I intend to show that The Soviet Union’s ill-fated adventure into this strange and treacherous land was a result of, as was so much else during the Cold War, a quest to expand an ideology to other lands, whether by friendly, coercive, or brutal methods.