This educational video depicts the point of view of the United States during the 1980s. The Soviet–Afghan conflict lasted over nine years from December 1979 to February 1989. Mujahideen insurgent groups fought against the Soviet Army and allied Afghan forces as millions of Afghan refugees fled the country to Pakistan and Iran.
Prior to the arrival of Soviet troops and helicopters, the pro-Soviet government took power in a 1978 coup and initiated a series of radical modernization reforms throughout the country. Vigorously suppressing any opposition from among the traditional Afghans, the government arrested thousands. By April 1979, large parts of the country were in open rebellion and by December the government had lost control of territory outside of the cities. In response to Afghan government requests, the Soviet government sent support to advice the Afghan government, but on December 24, 1979, a secret coup was staged and Afghan president Hafizullah Amin was removed and rival Afghan socialist Babrak Karmal was installed.
By the mid-1980s the Soviet contingent was increased to 108,800 but cost was high. By mid-1987 the Soviet Union announced it would start withdrawing and on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989.