Turmoil: A Brief History of Afghanistan

Imperialists have been fighting over Afghanistan for hundreds of years. Both the Russians(USSR) and British have fought losing battles there. Afghanistan is between Europe and the Indian sub-continent and so necessary for the imperialist aims of Britain and Russia (and then the Soviet Union) wanted a warm water port on the Arabian Sea. Britain wanted to protect their imperialistic aims in northern India (now Pakistan)

Afghanistan is ethnically and linguistically diverse. At least 30 languages are spoken there. The ethnic groups include Pashtuns, the Hazara, the Tajiks, and the Usbeks. Even though Afghanistan is so diverse they have resisted intrusion from outsiders. In 1841 the British suffered a major defeat. About 20,000 soldiers and their dependants were massacred at the end of the first Anglo-Afghan war. There was only one survivor.

In 1973 the Soviet Union was hoping the government that came to power after the overthrow of King Zahir Shah would do their bidding. But such was not the case and in 1979 the Soviets invaded. That war lasted a decade and saw the US get involved in fighting a proxy war against the USSR by supporting the mujhadeen, Muslim fundamentalists. The mujhadeen captured Kabul in 1992 but there was infighting among the various factions and in 1996 the Taliban faction took over Kabul and most of the country.

Today Afghanistan is suffering from a four-year drought as well as the excesses of the Taliban regime. No Doubt the regular people would appreciate help with both problems. Further destruction of their land for imperialist aims won’t help.