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How did the Soviet-Afghan War influence Soviet politics?

The Soviet-Afghan War significantly weakened the Soviet Union politically, leading to increased dissent and ultimately, its dissolution.

The Soviet-Afghan War, which lasted from 1979 to 1989, had a profound impact on Soviet politics. The war was a costly endeavour both in terms of human lives and economic resources. It was seen by many within the Soviet Union as a futile effort, leading to increased dissent and dissatisfaction with the government. This was particularly true among the younger generation who were disillusioned by the high casualty rates and the apparent lack of progress in the war.

The war also exposed the weaknesses of the Soviet political system. The decision to invade Afghanistan was made by a small group of leaders without any consultation with the wider Soviet population or even the broader political establishment. This lack of transparency and accountability led to widespread disillusionment and cynicism towards the government. The war also highlighted the inefficiencies and corruption within the Soviet bureaucracy, further undermining the legitimacy of the government.

The war had a significant impact on the Soviet Union's international standing as well. The invasion was widely condemned by the international community, leading to the Soviet Union's isolation on the global stage. This further weakened the Soviet Union's position in the Cold War, contributing to its eventual defeat.

The war also played a role in the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev to power. Gorbachev was a critic of the war and his opposition to it helped him gain support within the Soviet political establishment. Once in power, Gorbachev implemented a series of reforms aimed at addressing the issues highlighted by the war. These reforms, known as perestroika and glasnost, were intended to make the Soviet political system more transparent and accountable. However, they also led to increased political instability and ultimately, the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In conclusion, the Soviet-Afghan War had a profound influence on Soviet politics. It exposed the weaknesses of the Soviet political system, led to increased dissent and dissatisfaction, and played a role in the rise of Gorbachev and the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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