26 JANUARY

26 January 1980 – Margaret Thatcher wrote to Jimmy Carter informing him that Britain was “looking at a variety of possibilities for covert action,” meaning acts of illegal force or terrorism, against the government of Afghanistan and Soviet forces stationed there. Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington was not only fully supportive, but also wanted to widen the scale of potential intervention by “promoting insurgency in  Soviet-dominated areas such as the PDRY (Yemen), Ethiopia and Afghanistan itself.

In Lord Carrington’s thinking, the Islamist mujahideen fighting the Russians were “patriots” who should be supported and he recommended

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