Just Like Watching a Train Wreck

December 27, 1979 – The Soviet Union, in order to bolster the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, (lead by the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan and barely 18 months old), sends 700 troops dressed in Afghan uniforms to secure vital  government and military building in the capital of Kabul.  The United States, fresh from its own experiences in Vietnam, watches with a certain amount of satisfaction as the Soviet Union enters into its own quagmire in what has been become known as the “Graveyard of Empires”.  Soviet involvement would drag on for almost 10 more years in part due to an extremely complicated history and a multi-factor entanglement in the Cold War that included U.S. support of the Mujahideen and Pakistan.  The Soviets would deploy over 620,000 troops in that period.  Officially, only about 14,500 died in combat, but approximately 92% of troops acquired infection or became ill.  The cost of the war contributed highly to the demise of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR 1922 – 1991 in Russian, abbreviated as CCCP ), but their withdraw only furthered American involvement in the area that continues to the present day.

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