When the last Soviet troops finally withdrew from Afghanistan on February 15, 1989, the soldiers rejoiced. The last ten years had been nothing more than a dangerous exercise in abject futility, which had long been the bane of foreign armed forces invading the rugged, difficult terrain of Afghanistan in order to attempt to subjugate the warlike peoples therein.
Though the Soviet soldiers grinned, their leaders frowned. The Soviet-Afghan War was as bloody a nose as the USSR had ever experienced, mirroring the US failure in Vietnam twenty years earlier.
This is a short history of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.