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Secret Wars$
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Austin Carson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181769

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181769.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2019

The War in Afghanistan (1979–1986)

The War in Afghanistan (1979–1986)

Chapter:
(p.238) 7 The War in Afghanistan (1979–1986)
Source:
Secret Wars
Author(s):

Austin Carson

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691181769.003.0007

This chapter analyzes the end of the Cold War and external involvement in Afghanistan. On the Soviet side, the December 1979 invasion was preceded by six months of covert involvement in counterinsurgency military operations. The chapter reviews evidence on the motives for covertness and the detection of it by American leaders. It then assesses covertness in the American weapons supply program after the overt Soviet invasion. Escalation fears—in particular, fear of provoking Soviet retaliation against Pakistan and a larger regional war—led to consistent efforts to keep the expanding U.S. aid program covert from 1979 to 1985. By the mid-1980s, however, American leaders embraced a more aggressive strategy and identified key changes that largely eliminated the risk of escalation, leading them to approve an overt form of weaponry (the Stinger missile system). The chapter also reviews covert Soviet cross-border operations into Pakistan and U.S. inferences from its detection of these activities.

Keywords:   Afghanistan, Cold War, American weapons, weapons supply program, war escalation, U.S. aid program, Stinger missile system, Soviet cross-border, counterinsurgency, covertness, weaponry

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