QUAGMIRES

U.S. Matches Soviets' Stay in Afghanistan

This should put things in perspective: The United States has now been involved in Afghanistan as long as the Soviet Union was during its disastrous campaign through the 1980s. The U.S. matched the mark of nine years and 50 days on Friday. Though the stated goals for each country’s involvement were different, the quagmires in the country known as “the graveyard of empires” grew similarly unpopular on the home front. The Red Army fought different opponents than the Americans in the mujahideen, who were then supported by the U.S. And today, the remains of the Soviet efforts still lie all over the countryside—rusting aircraft, armor, and hidden mines in the soil. "We all together defeated them," said one Afghan veteran of the Soviet war. "Every man grabbed a weapon to fight. They shouldn't have been in our country, against our honor and culture."