What war did the US supply arms to the Afghans?

1 Answer
Mar 30, 2017

The Soviet-Afghan War 1979 to 1989 was the war that the US provided arms and cash to the Afghan rebels or Mujahideen.


Unhappy with the Kabul Government, the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan and killed the president. They installed Babrak Karmal as President. Many Afghans rebelled.

Fighting in the countryside continued throughout the 1980s and the cost to the USSR financially and politically was large. It may have been a contributing factor in the fall of the Soviet Union. Up to 1.5 million Afghans may have been killed. Many were maimed by the indiscriminate use of landmines including scatter mines.

The CIA thought that a proxy war with the USSR was an opportunity and there started to be the political will to pursue it in Congress.
The US and some Arab states funneled arms and money to the rebels. The arms included Stringer surface to air missiles which were particularly effective against the Soviet support Helicopters.

See also "Charlie Wilson's War" a Movie with Tom Hanks.

The Islamic Government (the Taliban) that arose after the War didn't like the US much but that is another story.