Untangling history’s greatest controversies

Every month, host Zach Cornwell takes a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.

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Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 2

The Soviet 40th Army invaded Afghanistan in the closing days of 1979. They would not leave for another nine years. Exhausted and frustrated by their inability to decisively crush the elusive freedom fighters in the mountains – the Mujahideen – the Soviets turn to atrocity and criminal violence to achieve their objectives. Meanwhile, adrenaline-seeking journalists and idealistic Western reporters illegally sneak into the war zone to uncover the truth behind the war.

SOURCES:

Ahmadi-Miller, Enjeela. The Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan. 2019.

Ansari, Mir Tamim. Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan. 2012.

Barfield, Thomas. Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History. 2010.

Borovik, Artyom. The Hidden War. 1990.

Braithewaite, Rodric. Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-1989. 2011.

Coll, Steve. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to 2001. 2004.

Dobbs, Michael. Down with Big Brother: The Fall of the Soviet Empire. 1997.

Feifer, Gregory. The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan. 2009.

Fremont-Barnes, Gregory. The Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-89. 2012.

Galeotti, Mark. Storm-333: KGB and Spetsnaz Seize Kabul. 2021.

Goodwin, Jan. Caught in the Crossfire. 1987.

Grau, Lester W. The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics In Afghanistan. 1996.

Hosdon, Peregrine. Under a Sickle Moon: A Journey Through Afghanistan. 1986.

Kalinovsky, Artemy. A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan. 2011.

Kaplan, Robert D. Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 2001.

Rosen, Ethan. The Bear, The Dragon, & the AK-47. 2017.

Tanner, Stephen. Afghanistan: A Military History of Afghanistan from Alexander the Great to the War Against the Taliban. 2009.

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