The Invasion of Afghanistan and UK-Soviet Relations, 1979-1982

Documents on British Policy Overseas, Series III, Volume VIII

Edited by Richard Smith, Patrick Salmon, Stephen Robert Twigge

© 2012 – Routledge

444 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415731454
pub: 2013-10-29
Hardback: 9780415678537
pub: 2012-03-08

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About the Book

This volume examines British policy towards the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979.

The documents in this volume, many released into the public realm for the first time, describe the development of British policy towards the Soviet Union during the eventful years 1979-1982. The new Conservative government, under Margaret Thatcher, was determined to strengthen British defences against the perceived Soviet threat and advocated a strong response to the Soviet intervention. East-West relations further deteriorated following the imposition of martial law in Poland in December 1981. The dilemma facing the British government was how to express strong disapproval of Soviet actions while still attempting to maintain a constructive bilateral relationship, and at the same time keep British policy in line with the Western Alliance. The death of President Brezhnev in November 1982, after 18 years in office, brought uncertainty but also new opportunities for relations with the Soviets.

This book will be of much interest to students of British politics and foreign policy, Russian history, US foreign policy, Central Asian politics, and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Preface. Abbreviations for Printed Sources. Abbreviated Designations. List of Persons. Document Summaries 1. 7 December 1979- 1 December 1981 2. 17 December 1981-9 December 1982. Appendix JIC(80)(N) 4: Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan-An Interim Assessment, 10 January 1980

About the Editors

Richard Smith is a Senior Historian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Stephen Twigge is a Principal Record Specialist at the National Archives, Kew, and a former Senior Historian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London.

About the Series

Whitehall Histories

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Publications

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / Afghan War (2001-)
HISTORY / Asia / Central Asia
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy