On this day in 1979, in an attempt to stabilize the turbulent political situation in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union sent 75,000 troops to enforce the installation of Babrak Karmal as the new leader of the nation. The new government and the imposing Soviet presence, however, had little success in putting down anti-government rebels. Thus began nearly 10 years of an agonizing, destructive, and ultimately fruitless Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan. Death by a thousand cuts.
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