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How did President Carter respond to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?

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codeste | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 21, 2013 at 1:16 AM via web

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How did President Carter respond to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 21, 2013 at 1:34 AM (Answer #1)

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When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, President Jimmy Carter had three main reactions.  Carter did not like the idea of the Soviets invading Afghanistan and so he set out to try to show his disapproval.

One thing that Carter did was to impose economic sanctions on the Soviets.  Most notably, he stopped selling them grain that they needed because they did not produce enough of their own.  Second, and perhaps most controversially, Carter ordered a US boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games.  These games were held in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union.  Carter did not want to have the US participate in them and, thereby, seem to approve of what the Soviets had done in Afghanistan.  Many of the United States’ allies also boycotted the games.

Most importantly, Carter started the process of arming Afghan opposition to the Soviets.  These Afghans came to be known as the mujahidin.  They were seen as freedom fighters by many in the West and the US continued to arm them through the Reagan years. 

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