The Soviet invasion in 1979 is now understood that Moscow blundered into Afghanistan with little appreciation of the difficulties it would face. Its goal was to shore up a communist regime that was on the edge of collapse in the face of a national uprising. The Soviet leadership wanted an Afghanistan that would be similar to other Soviet satellite states and under Soviet imperial rule. The Soviets may also have had ambitions to use Afghanistan as a base to project authority further south.
Source: US and Soviet Experience
The CIA’s Shadow Warriors During The 1980s:
Paramilitary Operations Officers were instrumental in equipping Mujaheddin forces against the Soviet Army. Although the CIA in general, and a Texas congressman named Charlie Wilson in particular, have received most of the attention, the key architect of this strategy was Michael G. Vickers. Vickers was a young Paramilitary Operations Officer from SAD/SOG. The CIA’s efforts have been given credit for assisting in ending the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan and bringing Taliban to power.
The Bin Laden Controversy:
A commonly expressed belief states that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had ties with Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda and its “Afghan Arab” fighters when it armed Mujahideen groups to fight the Soviet Union during the Soviet–Afghan War.
The United States began giving several hundred million dollars a year in aid to the Afghan Mujahideen insurgents fighting the Afghan Marxist government and the Soviet Army in Operation Cyclone. Along with native Afghan mujahideen were Muslim volunteers from other countries, popularly known as “Afghan Arabs”. The most famous of the Afghan Arabs was Osama bin Laden, known at the time as a wealthy and pious Saudi who provided his own money and helped raise millions from other wealthy Gulf Arabs.
Wikipedia: Bin Laden Allegations
The Special Activities Division:
(SAD) is a division of the United States Central Intelligence Agency responsible for covert operations. Within SAD there are two separate groups: SAD/SOG for tactical paramilitary operations and SAD/PAG for covert political action
The Special Operations Group (SOG) is a department within SAD responsible for operations that include high-threat military or covert operations with which the US government does not wish to be overtly associated. As such, unit members, called Paramilitary Operations Officers and Specialized Skills Officers, do not typically carry any objects or clothing, e.g., military uniforms, that would associate them with the United States government.
If they are compromised during a mission, the United States government may deny all knowledge. SOG is generally considered the most secretive special operations force in the United States. The group selects operatives from other special mission units such as Delta Force, DEVGRU, ISA, and 24th STS, as well as other United States special operations forces.
Wikipedia: CIA Shadow Warriors Special Activities Division