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What situation occur due to the enterance of Russian forces in Afghanistan in 1979?

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The near seventy-year history of the Soviet Union is one dominated by its tradition of foreign military interventions that spanned most of its existence and stretched geographically from Krakow to the Kuril Islands. Within this trajectory, the Soviet invasion of, and subsequent war with Afghanistan (1979-1989) stands out in particular, as a lasting legacy of the Cold War. Globally, its outcome continues to plague international society in the current struggle between the Western liberal democratic order and Islamic extremism. Domestically, the remains of the war have rendered the nation’s political institutions, economy and society fragile, and transformed Afghanistan into a battlefield for factional rivalries and a breeding ground for religious fundamentalism. As a rooted historical understanding of the war is necessary to contextualize the struggles from the region that dominate our contemporary international affairs, the very nature of the event’s historiography has evolved over time. Previously, it was commonplace among scholars to examine the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan within the Cold War framework: the USSR invaded foreign nations in the name of socialist internationalism, prestige and with the objective to thwart their Western enemies. However, this assessment failed to acknowledge the nuances of the Soviet decision-making process and account for those unique developments within the theatres of intervention. Contemporarily, a number of historians have analysed the events of the Cold War through a ‘pericentric lens’, which has shifted the scholarship from examining the events of the conflict from their ‘core’ – from the White House and the Kremlin – to the ‘periphery’. This scholarly shift reshapes our understanding of, and approach to Cold War dynamics through elaborating the interplay of a range of factors, and magnifying the intricacies of the Soviet and American decision-making processes.
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