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Comparing The US Response To The Soviet Invasion Of Afghanistan And The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine: Learning From The Past And Planning For The Future

As the Russo-Ukranian war continues to rage, the decisions of the present are of paramount importance. In order to make the most positive and well-supported decisions in this ongoing conflict, it would be wise to look to past instances of similar situations. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is such an instance. The parallels between the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the past Soviet invasion of Afghanistan are extensive and, more importantly, informative for U.S. foreign policy.

It is with this lens that this paper will pursue a historical foreign policy analysis of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, its circumstances and consequences, and suggest that based on these understandings, the U.S. ought to make it a top priority to avoid repeating the Afghanistan situation. The rise of the Taliban was fueled by U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, and as extremist movements in Ukraine become ever more threatening, the U.S. would do well to avoid the mistakes made in Afghanistan should it hope to avoid another war on terror.