The Soviet invasion of its neighbour Afghanistan in December 1979 sparked a bloody nine-year conflict in that country until Soviet forces withdrew in 1988-89, dooming the communist Afghanistan government to defeat at the hands of the Mujahideen, the Afghan popular resistance backed by the USA and other powers. The Soviet invasion had ermous implications on the global stage; it prompted the US Senate to refuse to ratify the hard-won SALT II arms-limitation treaty, and the USA and 64 other countries boycotted the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. For Afghanistan, the invasion served to prolong the interminable civil war that pitted central government against the regions and faction against faction. The country remains locked in conflict over 30 years later, with end in sight. Featuring specially drawn mapping and drawing upon a wide range of sources, this succinct account explains the origins, history and consequences of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, thereby shedding new light on the more recent history - and prospects - of that troubled country.
Gregory Fremont-Barnes holds a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford and serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. A prolific author, his books include Waterloo 1815: The British Army's Day of Destiny and many others on military and naval subjects covering the 18th to the 21st centuries. Holding a particular interest in insurgency and counterinsurgency, his wider work for the UK Ministry of Defence on these subjects regularly takes him to Africa, the Middle East and South America. As an academic advisor, Dr Fremont-Barnes has accompanied many groups of British Army officers and senior NCOs in their visits to numerous battlefields of the Peninsular War, the Waterloo campaign, Normandy and the Falklands.