Case 336 - The US and Soviet Proxy War in Afghanistan, 1989-1992
This case study, drawn from an Institute for the Study of Diplomacy working group series on strategic surprise, focuses on events in Afghanistan during the late 1980s and early 1990s and the policy decisions and consequences of completely withdrawing from engagement in Afghanistan in 1992. The case looks at how policy decisions surrounding these events affected US national strategic objectives in the region at the time—and whether an earlier, and deeper, consideration of the possible implications of the rise of radical Islamic groups might have changed the way in which the United States provided assistance to the mujahideen during and after the Soviet occupation. A decade later, Afghanistan and the radical groups operating within the country would emerge as a major national security challenge for the United States.
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