In December of 1979, the Soviet Union began their invasion of Afghanistan. Nine years later, in 1988, President Mikhail Gorbachev announced that the USSR would pull out of Afghanistan. The Soviets did not gain anything from this invasion, but rather lost many troops and lots of money. It remains questionable why the Soviet Union would invade Afghanistan. The Soviets did not achieve victory because their forces could not be concentrated solely on Afghanistan, there was an unexpected fierce resistance, and the pressure from foreign countries to withdraw was overwhelming.
In 1919, the USSR was the first nation in the world to recognize Afghanistan as an independent state. The relationship between the two blossomed with trade between the two, as well as financial aid from the Soviet Union. In 1921, they signed a friendship treaty. This treaty stated that if one of the countries was ever in trouble and needed assistance in any form, then the other country would help out.
For the next thirty plus years, the Soviets continued to aid Afghanistan. "During the 1950's, the Soviet Union invested in Afghanistan by building dams, roads, airfields, schools, and irrigation systems, as well as by searching for natural resources." The Soviets had invested approximately $2.25 billion dollars in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union was by far their most valuable source of economic support.
In 1975, Muhammad Daoud Khan, the leader of Afghanistan, began purging the Afghani military and government of communists. To counteract this, the Soviets were encouraging two communist groups, the Khalq and the Parcham, to unite to form the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). The PDPA was organized to seize power and attempt to transfer the government to socialism. The PDPA seized power on April 27, 1978. Once they had seized power, fighting between the two communist...