Afghanistan War (1978-92)/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Afghanistan War (1978-92).
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Primary Sources

  • Robert Gates From the Shadows (1996), explains the CIA role
  • Heinämaa, Anna; Leppänen, Maija; and Yurchenko, Yuri, eds. The Soldiers' Story: Soviet Veterans Remember the Afghan War. (1994) 128 pp.
  • Jalali, Ali Ahmad, and Lester W. Grau, eds. The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War (1996), Mujahideen perspective Online Edition (Caution Large File)
  • Ostermann, Christian Friedrich, ed. "Gorbachev and Afghanistan." Cold War International History Project Bulletin 2003-2004 (14-15): 139-192. Issn: 1071-9652 " online edition
  • Russian General Staff. The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost (2002), edited by Lester W. Grau, and Michail A. Gress; perspective of Soviet high command excerpt and text search* Westad, Odd Arne, ed. "Concering the Situation in 'A': New Russian Evidence on the Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan," CWIHP Bulletin (Winter 1996/97) issue 8-9, pp128-33, with documents on pp 133-184 online edition


  • Amstutz, J. B. Afghanistan: The First Five Years of Soviet Occupation. (1986)
  • Arnold, Anthony. The Fateful Pebble: Afghanistan's Role in the Fall of the Soviet Empire (1993)
  • Bradsher, Henry. Afghan Communism and Soviet Intervention (2nd ed 2001)
  • Steve Coll. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Cordovez, Diego, and Selig S. Harrison. Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (1995) excerpt and text search
  • Cordsman, Anthony H., and A. R. Wagner. The Lessons of Modern War. Vol. 3, The Afghan and Falkland Conflicts. (1991). online edition
  • Daley, Tad. "Gorbachev and Afghanistan, the Soviet Debate over the Lessons of Afghanistan and Consequent Directions in Russian Foreign Policy." PhD dissertation Rand Graduate Institute. 1995. 292 pp. DAI 1995 56(4): 1515-A. DA9528705 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Galeotti, Mark. Afghanistan, The Soviet Union's Last War (1995), shows highly negative impact in Russia
  • Gibbs, David N. "Reassessing Soviet Motives for Invading Afghanistan: a Declassified History." Critical Asian Studies 2006 38(2): 239-263. Issn: 1467-2715 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Granville, Johanna Cushing. "Soviet Decision-Making: A Comparative Analysis of the Interventions in Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), and Afghanistan (1979)." PhD dissertation Tufts U. 1992. 470 pp. DAI 1993 53(10): 3667-A. DA9301503 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Grasselli, Gabriella. British and American Responses to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1996)
  • Grau, Lester W. "Breaking Contact Without Leaving Chaos: the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan." Journal of Slavic Military Studies 2007 20(2): 235-261. Issn: 1351-8046
  • Grau, Lester W. "The Soviet-Afghan War: a Superpower Mired in the Mountains." Journal of Slavic Military Studies 2004 17(1): 129-151. Issn: 1351-8046 overall synthesis focused on Soviet military
  • Grau, Lester W. The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan Online Edition (Caution Large File) (1998)
  • Fred Halliday Zahir Tanin. "The Communist Regime in Afghanistan 1978-1992: Institutions and Conflicts." Europe-Asia Studies 1998 50(8): pp1357-1380. Comparative perspective. in Jstor
  • Hilali, A. Z. US-Pakistan Relationship: Soviet Invasion Of Afghanistan (US Foreign Policy and Conflict in the Islamic World) (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Hussain, Syed Rifaat. "From Dependence to Intervention: Soviet-Afghan Relations during the Brezhnev Era (1964-1982)." PhD dissertation U. of Denver 1993. 372 pp. DAI 1994 55(2): 370-A. DA9419261 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Kakar, M. Hassan. Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982 (1997) complete edition online
  • Klass, R., ed. Afghanistan: The Great Game Revisited. (1987).
  • McMichael, Scott R. Stumbling Bear : Soviet Military Performance in Afghanistan (1991), stresses the poor performance of the Soviet army
  • Mendelson, Sarah Elizabeth. "Explaining Change in Foreign Policy: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan." PhD dissertation Columbia U. 1993. 320 pp. DAI 1994 54(12): 4582-A. DA9412814 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Mendelson, Sarah E. "Internal Battles and External Wars: Politics, Learning, and the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan." World Politics 1993 45(3): 327-360. stresses the role of ideas about both the foreign and the domestic scene, as well as the role of a network of specialists that helped put these ideas on the national agenda; in Jstor
  • Overby. Paul. Holy Blood: An Inside View of the Afghan War (1993) emphasizes resistance to modernization. online edition
  • Rogers, Tom. The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Analysis and Chronology (1992) online edition
  • Rubin, Barnett R. Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse n the International System (2nd ed. 2002) excerpt and text search
  • Saikal, A., and W. Miley, eds. The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan. (1989).
  • Sarin, Oleg, and Lev Dvoretsky. The Afghan Syndrome: The Soviet Union's Vietnam. (1993). 240 pp.
  • Speakman, Jay R. "A Continuity of Discord: Responses of the Western Allies to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan." PhD dissertation Columbia U. 1994. 1067 pp. DAI 1995 56(1): 349-A. DA9516189 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Wolf, Matt W. "Stumbling Towards War: the Soviet Decision to Invade Afghanistan." Past Imperfect 2006 12. Issn: 1192-1315 online edition