soviet tank graveyard

This is a junkyard full of Soviet tanks left over from the USSR’s disastrous war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. In case you want to find it on your Google Earth the coordinates are  34°32’58.13″N,  69°18’57.98″E. It’s about 9 miles east of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

They don’t have street view in Afghanistan of course, but if you zoom in you can see the individual vehicles, all the same shade of dusty tan, nearly blending into the desert. These military vehicles have been here for 25 or 30 years.

The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, ostensibly to prop up a Marxist regime that was in imminent danger of collapsing, perhaps because it had zero support among the population. The Afghans fought a 10-year guerrilla insurgency against their invaders, a war the Soviets could ill-afford to fight at the time, considering they were being outspent in an economic arms race by Ronald Reagan. The economic, military, and human damage done to the Soviet regime by the war was one of the many causes of the collapse of the regime. The Soviets pulled out in February 1989, but it didn’t do them much good. The USSR ceased to exist two and a half years later.

We, the United States, have now been involved in our own war in Afghanistan longer than the Soviets were. Will there someday be a junkyard of American military equipment on some dusty road in the wilds of Afghanistan? Perhaps.