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Soldier after a mission in Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan. (Photo by Viktor Khabarov), Washington Post

In his 1980 State of the Union Address, Jimmy Carter pitched a radical shift in the United States’ foreign policy to Congress. Twin crises of the previous year — the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan — had forced him to retreat from his human rights agenda. The Carter administration declared the latter the “latest Soviet attempt to extend its colonial domination… an aggressive new step against a relatively defenseless nation.”[1] The United States returned to its traditional policy of containment with the Soviet Union. In hindsight, was this an accurate assessment? Why did the Soviet…

Janick Gold

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