Why Did the Soviet Union Enter Afghanistan in 1979?

  1. During the 1970s, the Soviet Union had lost a lot of its friends in the Middle East as its arch-rival United States had been successfully courting several countries strategically important to USSR. While Israel and Saudi Arabia were traditional American allies, the loss of Egypt was a great loss for the Soviet Union.
  2. Coming into the power of western leaning devout Muslim General Zia in Pakistan with American blessing was a worrisome development for USSR as all her efforts to woo this strategically significant country were wasted.
  3. In these circumstances, the Iranian Revolution in February 1979 changed the complexion; the Soviet Union genuinely feared that Afghanistan would be the next domino to fall and with it the PDPA, her communist proxy in neighbouring Afghanistan.

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