Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



For nearly the past quarter century, the United States has been involved in covert operations in a region of the world that most people could not locate on a map. Invisible wars being fought by the United States and other foreign intelligence agencies in Afghanistan sowed the seeds for the attacks on September 11, 2001. From the Soviet invasion in 1979 to the summer of 2001, intelligence agencies from around the globe have had a stake in supplying, training, and funding the very same people who carried out those terrible attacks. In the middle of this chaotic time period, Osama bin Laden used political manipulation to devise a plan that would leave a scar on the face of a nation for many years to come. This research will give a history of the U.S. government’s involvement in Afghanistan during the 1980s and 1990s. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda would rise from the ashes of the Soviet conflict to become the new enemy of America. To combat these new faceless adversaries, historians need to look at the mistakes made in the past to prevent similar tragedies in the future.