Afghanistan and the politics of quagmire: A retrospective analysis of US policy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines US policy toward Afghanistan, focusing on the period of the Soviet invasion and occupation of the country. It will review new evidence that the United States helped to destabilize Afghanistan during the 1970s and contributed to the conditions that led to the 1979 Soviet invasion, which in turn produced the chronic instability that still plagues the country today. When the Soviets finally did withdraw in 1989, US officials refused to work with the post-communist Afghan government that remained, which helped to destabilize that regime and to further deepen the country’s underlying instability. The large-scale social disintegration that attended the lengthy war against the Soviets and the post-Soviet Afghan government helped create the intractable social and political problems that now prevail in the country and that complicate the present-day efforts aimed at reconstruction and nation building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRebuilding Afghanistan in Times of Crisis
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Response
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781351334013
ISBN (Print)9781138571587
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Engineering


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