The significance of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

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  • The significance of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
    • Background
      • After the Czechoslovakian invasion in 1968, the US condemned it, but didn't do anything
        • In 1979, the USSR sent troops into Afghanistan, a country with a communist government to take control after the president was assassinated
          • This time the USA reacted very strongly
    • The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
      • 1. The USSR saw Afghanistan as in its sphere of influence, as it was bordering the Soviet Union, meant President Taraki's government had to be communist and Soviet-backed
      • 2. When President Taraki was assassinated during civil war and replaced by Hafizullah Amin, the USSR felt its influence in Afghanistan was threatened
      • 3. Brezhnev ordered Soviet troops to invade Afghanistan in Dec 1979, Barabak Karmal was made president and Amin and many of his supporters were killed
      • 4. Brezhnev believed wrongly that the USA and its president Jimmy Carter, would not object to the invasion
      • 5. Soviet troops had to remain in the country to keep Karmal in power, Afghan rebels known as the Mujaheddin resisted these troops
    • Why was Carter worried?
      • Soviet control would get more control in the Middle East
      • Successful invasion of Afghanistan might mean Soviet influence in Iran
      • Iran could block Middle East oil exports at the Straits of Hormuz, Middle East oil was essential to the USA's prosperity

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