The book begins in the 1960's and goes to the early 2000's. This would include the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
“[T]hat, my young friends, is the story of our country, one invader after another…. Macedonians. Sassanians. Arabs. Mongols. Now the Soviets. But we’re like those walls up there. Battered, and nothing pretty to look at, but still standing. Isn’t that the truth, badar?” pg 132