Despite the threat of growing communism, should the United States have intervened in the Afghanistan War?

Jul 2016
The estimated amount of $ spent by the USSR at the prices of 1987 - 50 billion dollars - for this war mentioned in my previous post is for comparison and to show that it doesnt make sense the soviet cold war enemy to spent 100 times much more than the Reds in this war. CIA reports also explains how they spent only 50 million $, relatively small amount of money for this ~7 years war. For the the sum U.S.A. paid i am in agreement with you, idd a few billion $ money well spent.
The US spent way more than $50 million to help crush the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, it was at least a couple billion. But still nothing compared to what benefit we got out of it, we stuck it to the Russians similarly how they stuck it to us in Vietnam and elsewhere. And it helped collapse the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact.

And I don't know how much Soviet actually spend and how their currency translates to USD at the time, minus inflation. But Soviet were going to spend a whole lot less than the US did, command economy, conscripted military, poor training. There was a reason 1/4 of all Soviet-Afghan War veterans got hepatitis in country, and over half got major viral infections, because the Soviet Union went cheap and paid for it.
Sep 2012
@aggienation I meant CIA reports also explains how USSR spent only 50 BILLION dollars, relatively small amount of money for this ~7 years war. We are using here the word milliard for a thousand million, a British English word gone out of use after they adopted US practice of using billion, so a bit of confusion. Sorry.

EDIT: ... and of coarse it was 7 years war at the time of the report's release in 1987. The war lasted circa nine years 1980-1989, so there were money spent for the last two years not taken into account.
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Jul 2013
San Antonio, Tx
It's a tough question. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and meant to spread communist ideals, but the United States stirred up a rebellion by spending an estimate of 4.8 trillion in providing automated weapons and assistance to Afghan fighters. With this insane number in mind, I have trouble being convinced that American involvement in the Afghanistan War was really worth it.
Fantasize much? The US never spent anywhere near that amount. Where did you get that figure from?
Sep 2012
URSS wasn't spreading Communism any longer at the time. It was more keeping (trying to keep) in place it's sphere of influence.
This is your interpretation. The new government of this country committed a revolution and asked USSR for help against the 'counter-revolutionary' insurgents. What this country has - oil? abundant natural resources - it has nothing. They have no other choice but to support the 'communist brothers' of Afghanistan, it was integral part of their ideology. Their commitment in troops in the beginning was relatively low and though it was gradually increased till the end of the war, the soviets managed to contain the cost of this war relatively low. Nevertheless it weakened their fragile economy and caused the collapse of the whole system thus their cold war enemy was victorious, thanks mainly to the efforts of two men - President Ronald Reagan and Senator Charlie Wilson.
Oct 2013
This is your interpretation. The new government of this country committed a revolution and asked USSR for help against the 'counter-revolutionary' insurgents. ....
Not exactly, my friend.

A friendly governement was already in place for an year, and the intervention was triggered by the assassination of the pro-URSS President by the "not so pro URSS" but still Communist faction.

It's one of the reasons I talked about more like keeping than spreading.

Next years' movements in Poland confirmed the tendency: URSS didn't dealth with it in the "good old fashioned way" (see Hungary/Czechoslovakia)