I think you might take a look at Afghanistan and what it helped do to the soviets
The Soviet involvement in Afghanistan was more along the lines of:
Boris: "We need something to distract the people at home! They are getting restless!"
Piotr: "How about a war? That's always worked in the past!"
Boris: "Yes, but against who? We have to pick something close enough to be threatening, but far enough away that they won't come here!"
Piotr: "How about Afghanistan?"
Boris: "Perfect! Whoever heard of a Moslem holding a grudge?"