Why did the Soviets Invade Afghanistan?

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Why did the Soviets Get Involved in Afghanistan?

To Stop the Spread of Islamic Fundamentalism:

  • Bhreznev was concerned that islamic fundamentalism would influence the 30 million muslims in the Soviet Union and cause them to break free from the USSR.
  • islamic fundamentalism could spread to the USSR and destablise the country.
  • Communism is atheist so this muslim influence would be a huge problem.

To Support the Communist Government:

  • The PDPA (Afghanistan Communist Party) were very unpopular - it got so bad that Kamal asked Bhreznev to intervene.
  • It became unpopular due to their anti-muslim policies.
  • The PDPA was not strong enough to withstand the guerilla tactics of the Mujahideen.

To Expand the Communist Influence:

  • The USSR were keen to spread to the Middle East where there are valuable oil supplies.
  • America has oil rigs in the Persian Gulf so they could pose a Communist threat to the USA if they had oil rigs there.
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Why did the Soviets Get Involved in Afghanistan?

To Uphold Previous Treaties with Afghanistan:

  • More than 50,000 Soviet troops were in Afghanistan.
  • Bhreznev claimed that they were only conforming with the Treaty of Friendship.
  • He used the Friendship Treaty as an excuse to invade but also used the Bhreznev Doctrine as a justification to invade.

Why were the USA concerned about the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan?

  • Some Americans accused Carter of being weak so he used the invasion as a way of proving his strength and used a furm approach to dealing with it.
  • The USA feared Soviet naval control of the Arabian sea.
  • The USA feared the threat that the Soviets imposed on the Persian Gulf and their oil supplies. 
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