GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: the Near/Middle East
December 24, 1979: The Soviet military invades and occupies Afghanistan, beginning a decade-long conflict.

The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize its government and support socialism. The conflict lasts 10 years and is often referred to as the Soviet Union's Vietnam. Seventy thousand Soviet soldiers will die in the course of the conflict.

PBS Rebuilding Afghanistan: Timeline
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia /afghanistan/timeline_section3.html

A historical timeline of Afghanistan from 1921 to 2001