Pre Invasion Timeline


Jimmy Carter is President

1977 - Dec 25 1979

President Jimmy Carter created the Carter Doctrine. This led to sanctions against the USSR that protested their invasion of Afghanistan.

Iranian Revolution


As the Shah of Iran was taken out of power, America looses a very valuable asset in the Middle East. This makes America nervous because they feel that they have lost influence in the region. As a result, Jimmy Carter's decides to provide funding to the Mujahideen which will allows them to fight Soviet influence in Afghanistan and regain control of the Middle East.

US Names Ambassador to Afghanistan

May 1978 - February 1979

The US tries to pursue friendly relations with the new socialist government of Afghanistan under Taraki in order to prevent Afghanistan from reverting to Soviet influence.

US Begins Supplying Mujahideen

Mar 1979 - June 1979

The US begins a proxy war in Afghanistan by supplying the Mujahideen, a loosely connected group of Muslim rebels that were fighting Soviet influence in Afghanistan. At first, communication equipment is given to the rebels. However, this soon escalates to weapons and military funding. Historians describe the US policy in Afghanistan as: "Our gold, their blood".


Brezhnev is Leader of USSR

Approx. 1964 - Dec 25 1979

Leonid Brezhnev created the Brezhnev Doctrine which provided the political reasoning to invade Afghanistan.

Brezhnev Doctrine


The USSR expresses its policy of keeping Communist states within their sphere of influence through the declaration of the Brezhnev Doctrine. This is much like the US foreign policy of Containment because it polarizes the world and forces them to pick a side in the Cold War.

Military Influence in Afghanistan Begins

Apr 1978

Once the new regime was instated in Afghanistan (see Afghanistan's timeline), the Soviets gain control of the country. They send hundreds of military advisers to spread their social ideals and advance communism in the country. For example, land is taken from wealthy people and divided among poorer farmers. They also allow women to be educated alongside men and to remove their burkas. These new rules offended many Afghans and caused a distaste for the Soviets.

USSR Invades Afghanistan

December 25 1979

Amin proved that he could not stop a civil war from breaking. Thus, the Soviets decided to take matters into their own hands. After establishing control over most of the Country, they executed Amin and instated their own government in Kabul.


Creation of Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan


The PDPA is a political party founded upon Marxist (Communist) ideology and an alliance to the USSR.

PDPA Splits into 2 factions


Due to different ideologies and opinions about government, the party splits into 2 factions. They are:
- Parchamists: Led by Babrak Karmal and would later support Daoud
- Khalqis: Radical faction of party led by Noor Taraki

Coup: Daoud is Prime Minister

Jun 1973 - April 27 1978

Daoud overthrows King Zahir who ruled Afghanistan since 1933 and establishes a tightly controlled Communist government with close ties to the USSR.

Coup: Taraki becomes Prime Minister

April 28,1978 - October 1979

Nor Mohamed Taraki and his left-oriented regime is given power in Afghanistan through a coup. Although this is not very popular at first, the Soviets create propaganda to make is seem like a great thing for the country.

Civilian Unrest

May 1978

As new laws continue to be instated by the Taraki, civilians start to fear that religious leaders would lose their power under communist rule. With 99.7% of their population being Muslim, extreme tensions were created by the propostion of not being able to freely pursue their religion. This caused many people to protest and created a divide between the government and its people.

Afghan-Soviet Friendship Treaty

Feb 1979

Amin and Taraki form a pact with the USSR that would allow direct military intervention if their regime was threatened. This is due to the increased harassment from the Mujahideen rebels who are fighting against them.

Herat uprising

Mar 1979

Afghan protesters attack and kill several Soviet advisors and their families in the town of Herat as a response to the Soviets unwanted presence and influence in Afghanistan.

Mujahideen call for Jihad

May 1979

With the new laws that were being imposed the Afghan people felt that their way of life was being threatened. As a result, the people of Afghanistan called for a Jihad (holy war) against the Soviets. Since Afghanistan is divided into tribal areas, they decide to unite under one army but fight individually. This loosely connected group becomes the Mujahideen (Soldiers of God).

Coup: Amin is Prime Minister

Oct 1979 - December 25 1979

Hafizullah Amin was the Deputy Prime Minister under Taraki. He saw Soviet influence in Afghanistan as a threat because it seemed like Soviet officials were aligning more closely with Taraki and trying to force him out of power. Because of this, Amin executed Taraki and took his place as Prime Minister.