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How to win friends and influence people

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4. How to win friends and influence people...

In 1979 The Soviet Union launched an invasion of Afghanistan, which obviously did not go down well with America as it was a sign that they were trying to spread communism once again.

For the Soviets themselves, they saw it as simply following the Brezhnev Doctrine. There had been a Communist revolution in Afghanistan in 1978 and it was in danger. So they stepped in to help. The invasion had a number of effects – not only on relations between the USA and USSR but on the condition of the USSR itself

4. Friendly US - Soviet discussion

  • In order to stop the mujahedeen (The Islamic Rebels trying to get rid of the Communists) the Soviets started by sending in 50000 troops.

  • The Soviets need to keep a standing army of 85000 troops to maintain control

  • The US responded angrily and when the Soviets did not back down they started to supply the mujahedeen with equipment and training

  • The US also offered support to nearby countries to make sure that the Soviets did not try and expand

  • In protest at the invasion, the US boycotted (refused to go to) the 1980 Olympics which were held in Moscow

  • The Soviets found it hard to establish order in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and had to stay for 9 years (Sound familiar?!)

The invasion was also the reason that SALT II was never signed, and it lead to the US stopping trade with the Soviet Union. At the same time as the invasion – the US was having its own problems in Iran – American citizens had been taken hostage in the embassy and attempts to free them had failed dismally. The US was looking weak and the Soviets were getting aggressive - Détente was dead and the Cold War was back on.

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