When the Soviets Fled Afghanistan

Conquerors and nations have been trying to rebuild Afghanistan in their own image for thousands of years. The U.S. is just the latest to fail.

The Soviet Union also failed, with a little push from the United States. But they learned their lesson in only 10 years, from 1979-1989.

Mark Galeotti joins us today to talk about the lessons the U.S. probably should have learned from the USSR. He’s Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and has literally written the book - no three books! - on this very subject. We’ll put links in the show notes.


Storm-333: KGB and Spetsnaz seize Kabul, Soviet-Afghan War 1979


The Panjshir Valley 1980–86


Afghanistan: The Soviet Union's Last War


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