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This chapter covers the background to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion and killing of Afghan leader Amin, and the initial Carter administration decision to aid Afghan forces fighting the Soviets. It includes the author’s observations of Moscow during the 1980 Olympics, boycotted by most Western states because of Afghanistan. The chapter covers the rise of Solidarity, the initial Polish and Soviet response to Solidarity’s victories in 1980, the decision by Brezhnev in December 1980 to call off an impending invasion of Poland after Communist leader Kania’s pledge to suppress Solidarity using Polish forces, subsequent heavy Soviet pressure to act, and the imposition of martial law by Polish president Jaruzelski in December 1981. It reveals how Soviet leaders in 1981 were so unwilling to use their own troops that were secretly willing to give up Poland as a Communist country if Jaruzelski failed to act. It concludes with the Reagan administration’s decision to provide covert support to Solidarity after the crackdown.

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