Due to the NATO mission in Afghanistan the earlier Russian involvement seems to have passed into obscurity. It’s interesting to learn how a major power allowed itself to be sucked into this morass despite having the US experience in Vietnam as a lesson. There aren’t many English language accounts of the ’79-’89 war. One I’d recommend is Rodric Braithwaite’s ‘Afgansty’. It tells the story very lucidly and also examines the effects of the war on Soviet society. Also giving your enemies’ enemy sophisticated weapons may eventually come back to haunt you as the US was eventually to discover.

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