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 3

As the CIA wages a covert proxy war against the Soviet 40th Army, the Mujahideen are showered with billions of dollars and cutting-edge weaponry. An old animosity between two prominent Mujahideen commanders – Ahmed Shah Massoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - turns into a bitter, deadly rivalry. Meanwhile, Soviet reformers led by Mikhail Gorbachev attempt to extricate the USSR from Afghanistan with a shred of dignity intact. After the Soviet withdrawal, the world turns it back on Afghanistan as a civil war rages between the Mujahideen factions – and the Taliban emerges.

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