How deep was the US involved in the Soviet-Afghan war? This question is asked by many of those who research this conflict. Historians want to get to the truth, reenactors want to reenact some cool CIA guys jumping around the mountains of the Soviet-Afghan war. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between. Let's investigate.
US-Afghan relations prior to Soviet invasion
The US and Afghanistan had good ties before to the Soviet-Afghan War, with the US giving Afghanistan a substantial amount of support and aid. As part of its attempts to oppose Soviet dominance in the area, the US gave Afghanistan military and economic assistance in the 1950s and 1960s. Along with supporting the upgrading of Afghanistan's military, the US also assisted with the construction of the nation's infrastructure, including highways and hydroelectric dams.
However, ties between the US and Afghanistan started to deteriorate in the 1970s. A republic was imposed in 1973 when the monarchy was overthrown by a coup headed by Mohammed Daoud Khan. The US became concerned when the new administration started to resemble the Soviet Union. Throughout the 1970s, ties between the US and Afghanistan worsened; after the Soviet invasion in 1979, the US stopped providing the majority of Afghanistan's aid.
When the US decided to get involved in the Soviet-Afghan war
Shortly after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 27, 1979, the United States decided to join the Soviet-Afghan War. Jimmy Carter's US administration first replied to the Soviet Union with a number of diplomatic and economic sanctions before deciding to give the Afghan resistance fighters, or mujahideen, financial and military support.
Six months prior to the Soviet invasion, in July 1979, the United States had already given the CIA permission to secretly help the Afghan resistance organizations with weapons, training, and other resources. Following the Soviet invasion, this assistance was further expanded, and by the middle of the 1980s, the US was giving the mujahideen billions of dollars in support. Through Pakistan, which acted as a conduit for military supplies and training for the Afghan resistance fighters, the US provided help to Afghanistan.
Reasons of US involvement in Soviet-Afghan war
For a number of reasons, the US entered the Soviet-Afghan conflict:
Soviet influence containment: The US saw the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as a component of a broader plan to extend communist influence throughout the area. The US felt that it had to act to limit Soviet influence in the area since it considered this as a danger to both its own and its allies' interests.
Advancement of US interests: The US sought to safeguard its own interests in the area, particularly its allies' backing in the Persian Gulf and its access to oil resources. Furthermore, the US perceived a chance to destabilize the Soviet Union and maybe compel it to engage in an expensive and exhausting war.
Humanitarian considerations: Because it believed that Afghan sovereignty and human rights were being violated by the Soviet occupation, the US was also driven by humanitarian concerns. The US attempted to assist the Afghan resistance forces because it considered them as freedom warriors.
All things considered, a mix of geopolitical, strategic, and humanitarian considerations led to US engagement in the Soviet-Afghan struggle. The US attempted to take advantage of the conflict to further its goals and destabilize the USSR as it saw it as a proxy war between the US and the USSR.
What did the US contribute to Afghanistan forces
During the Soviet-Afghan War (1979–1989), the US gave the Afghan mujahideen substantial military and financial support as they fought the Soviet Union and their communist allies in Afghanistan. Among the US assistance to the mujahideen was:
Weapons and equipment: Small rifles, anti-aircraft missiles, and other military gear were among the many weapons and equipment that the US sent the mujahideen. While some of these weapons were acquired using US money and provided directly by the US, others were obtained through Pakistan.
Training and assistance: The US also gave the Afghan resistance forces assistance and training. This covered information collection, military training, and logistical assistance.
Funding: The US gave the mujahideen a lot of financial support; estimates place the overall amount of US funding given to the group during the battle at over $3 billion.
assistance on the diplomatic and political levels: US authorities publicly endorsed the mujahideen and their cause, lending assistance to the Afghan resistance movement. Additionally, the US assisted to organize a coalition of nations that sent supplies to the mujahideen and attempted to increase international support for the Afghan resistance.
In summary, the United States of America (US) was a major player in the Soviet-Afghan War, helping the Afghan resistance by arming, training, and funding them to combat the Soviet Union and its communist allies in Afghanistan.