The Cold War: Afghan-Soviet War and Moscow Olympics Essay

During and after World War II, the United States and some of its closer allies were suspicious of the Communist influence and the intentions of the Soviet Union. The Cold War, which lasted from 1953 to 1991, was a conflict between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. In the year of 1979, after helping to establish and maintain a communist government in their nation, the Soviet Union engaged in a bloody war with Afghanistan. This conflict caused massive amounts of destruction and chaos for Afghanistan, but in the end it was a military disaster for the Soviet Union.

In 1980 the United States did not attend to the Moscow Summer Olympics because their political leaders supported President Carter’s boycott of the Olympics to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Tom Makoski, 21 at the time, and many other United States citizens was surprised on how the events of the Cold War took place. The Soviet invasion in Afghanistan was a costly and, ultimately pointless war. On the 27th of December 1979 Operation Storm, a seven hundred-strong unit of Soviet special forces, invaded the city of Kabul. They were disguised as regular Afghan soldiers. hey had come to kill Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin, but also to keep their interest of Afghanistan away from Iran and western nations. Also they wanted to preserve the communist government from collapsing. Through the next 10 years the Soviets attempted to gain control of the country and its people. The Soviets were met with strong resistance from the Afghan people; they saw the invasion as a intrusion of the Islam (their major religion) and of their culture. The Mujahidin, or the resistant fighters, would attack the Soviets, then disappear into the mountains. This caused great destruction without huge battles.

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The Soviets then attempted to eliminate the mujahideen’s civilian support by bombing and depopulating the rural areas. The mujahideen were eventually able to neutralize Soviet air power through the use of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles supplied by the United States. The Afghan War settled in a stalemate. Little known or appreciated for its significance, the Soviet-Afghan War was one of the turning points of the late Cold War. The Moscow Olympic were the 19th occurrence of the modern Olympic Games. The Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan created the largest boycott of the Olympics.

United Staes President Jimmy Carter made the ultimate decision that the U. S. athletes should not attend the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Not only the United States boycotted the Olympics, Canada, China Egypt, Iran, Israel, Japan, Turkey, West Germany, and about 56 others. 4 years later the Soviet Union organized a boycott of the summer olympics in Los Angels, but it was not as successful as the 1980 Moscow Olympic boycott. The Afghan-Soviet war was a very emotion war not only for the people of Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, but also the people of the United States.

Tom Makoski said, “However, to me, it seemed like the Soviets were pushing their way into a country where they did not belong. The invasion was designed to benefit the Soviet’s at the expense of the Afghan people. In the end, neither the Soviet’s nor the Afghans benefited from the conflict. ” The Afghan-Soviet was a very complicated war, meaning that the politics of it were difficult for some Americans to comprehend. The Afghan-Soviet war did not only effect the two countries directly involved but it effected others, “Similar to the Vietnam War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was expected to be short-lived.

However, what followed was a 10 year, bloody civil war, in which the Soviet’s fought against the Afghan Guerrillas (the Mujahideen). The United States did not want the Soviet’s to gain a stronghold in the Middle East. So, the United States, and their Allies, Great Britain, funded the Afghan Guerillas, who ultimately withstood the Soviet’s, who ultimately left Afghanistan. The war ended with the retreat of the Soviet’s from Afghanistan, however; the end of the war signaled the beginning of the radical Islamic ideology, which was the foundation and infrastructure that ultimately enabled and supported the terrorist network known as Al Qaeda. Like Tom Makoski said, the war may not have effected other nations through war, but financially and politically; it also gave other countries ideas of war, and terrorism. The boycotting of the Olympics was a very daring move on the governments part, considering it would make millions of Americans very unhappy, “I was only 21 years old when the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Most of the people that I knew, thought that it was unfortunate (or wrong), that the Olympic athletes had to suffer and not compete due to high level political problems between the United States and the Soviets. The boycotting of the Olympics was also not as effective as the Americans hoped it would be, “Unfortunately, it did not have much of an effect on the Soviets who continued to fight against Afghanistan for another 10 years. ” But all the other countries believed it was effective and were working with the United States to eventually end the communism in the world. The Cold War was a devastating war to many countries. It was a dark period of time in the United States as well and the Soviet Union and many others.

The Afghan-Soviet War was a military disaster, a devastating blow to the people of Afghanistan as well as the. Soviet Union. Even though the Afghan-Soviet War is often over looked in history, it is a major turning point in the Cold War. The boycotting of the Moscow Olympics was not as successful as the Americans hoped, but it still impacted the Soviet Union greatly. Works Cited Burgan, Michael. Cold War: The Collapse. Austin, Texas: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2001. Sherman, Joseph. The Cold War: Chronicle of American Wars. Minneapolis, MN: Joseph Sherman, 2004. Gaddis, John.

The Cold War: A New History. New York, New York: Penguin Group, 2007. Maus, Derek. The Cold War. United States of America: Bonnie Szumski, 2003. Coll, Steve. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, ad Bin laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September10, 2011. New York, New York: The Penguin Press, 2004. Shou Zhang and Mike Jacobs. “The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. ” needham. k12. ma. us. 5 April 2013 “Soviet invasion of Afghanistan”. Encyclop? dia Britannica. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online Encyclop? dia Britannica Inc. , 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2013 .