Q:

Why did the Soviet Union invade Afghanistan?

A:

Quick Answer

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to help the Communist government defeat guerrilla Muslim troops. Communist governments controlled Afghanistan and the former Soviet Union in the late 1970s. The Soviet Union supported and encouraged the practice of communism in other governments, and it lent a helping hand to nearby Afghanistan to quell anti-Communist actions.

  Know More

Full Answer

Although the Soviet Union did not arrive to help communist Afghan troops until December 24, 1979, troubles began much earlier in Afghanistan. In 1978, Nur Mohammad Taraki led Communist supporters in an attack on the centrist government. Taraki successfully overthrew the dominant government that was headed by President Mohammad Daud Khan. Taraki's party proved powerful, but it sparked resentment and outrage among Afghan citizens. The primarily Muslim Afghan citizen body disapproved of the Communist practices and policies supported by Taraki.

While Taraki's support from citizens waned, support from the Soviet Union increased. The Soviet Union sent in troops to help the Communist government control skirmishes and backlashes launched by opposing militant groups. In the midst of internal strife, Taraki lost control of the government. The Soviet Union replaced him with Babrak Karmal, a fellow Communist supporter. As with Taraki, Afghan citizens opposed the leadership of Karmal. Other nations, including the United States, jumped in to support anti-Communist troops. In 1988, the Soviet Union withdrew its troops after signing a treaty with the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Learn more about Military
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is the U.S. military in Afghanistan?

    A:

    The U.S. military was originally deployed to Afghanistan following the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. They were deployed because a fundamentalist group known as the Taliban ruled Afghanistan at the time and offered aid and shelter to the terrorists who planned the attacks.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What countries make up the Soviet Union?

    A:

    The countries that were once part of the Soviet Union include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia and Georgia. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova also belonged. Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan round out the total. The Soviet Union dissolved on Dec. 26, 1991.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long did the former Soviet Union last?

    A:

    The Soviet Union lasted from 1922 to 1991. The Soviet state itself was established in 1917, but the entire country was not united until Russia joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet Union was the first state created based on Marxist socialism.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What led to the collapse of the Soviet Union?

    A:

    The causes of the fall of the Soviet Union were many and included ethnic conflict, a lack of support for the idea of communism and economic troubles caused by a focus on arms. Despite reform efforts by Mikhail Gorbachev, the then leader of the Soviet Union, the country was never able to reorganize and rebuild.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore