Afghanistan, war in the Hindu Kush, a war fought by the Soviet Union to prevent the spread of Islamic Fundamentalism. Like Vietnam, a conflict dominated by the helicopter gunship. Unlike Vietnam, a hit and run guerilla war not all rebels could agree how to win and one fought under often atrocious conditions for which the soviets were untrained and unprepared. Afghanistan is a remote landlocked country whose closeness to Iran’s Islamic revolution scared the Kremlin. It’s also a wild mountainous country with few metal roads. This lack of easy communications dictated a two pronged invasion to secure the capital Kabul and the towns along the road system.
The invasion was personally supervised by Marshal Sergei Sokolov, the Soviet’s deputy defense ministry, extensively experienced as a war time tank general. He was a hawkish commander, but a conservative tactician who soon faced a federation of 24 major guerrilla groups.