Nation: Who Lost Afghanistan?

A sad chronicle of surprises and miscalculations

The virtual annexation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union represents not only a strategic setback for the U.S. but a potential political liability for Jimmy Carter as well. TIME Diplomatic Correspondent Strobe Talbott examines the historical background of the crisis:

The question "Who lost Afghanistan?" is probably inevitable in the presidential campaign, if only because it echoes last year's refrains of "Who lost Iran?" and "Who lost Nicaragua?" The temptation to blame Jimmy Carter is understandable—and, for his critics, irresistible. After all, even though his predecessors...

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