The Conflict in Afghanistan
Left ravaged by centuries of invasion and infighting, Afghanistan showed signs of progress after the fall of the Taliban in 2002. However, the central Asian country has since lost traction as the government of Hamid Karzai struggles to retain any control outside of the capital city of Kabul, and Taliban forces show signs of resurgence.
Although the international spotlight has only turned to Afghanistan in the last few decades, the country has a long and often turbulent history of invasion and infighting, dating back to at least 550 B.C.
takes a broad look at the troubled past of Afghanistan in their report titled, “Afghanistan’s struggles have long history.” Over the years, the turbulent country has seen a number of invading forces, beginning as far back as Alexander the Great in 329 B.C. and later Genghis Khan in 1219.
BBC’s “Afghanistan’s turbulent history”
looks at the country’s more recent troubles, beginning with a 1973 military coup that brought 200 years of family rule to an end and started a power struggle that would eventually lead to the arrival of Soviet forces and a bloody, decade-long war with no clear winner.
The United States Library of Congress
provides a comprehensive overview of Afghanistan, covering virtually every historical and political event beginning with the pre-Islamic Achaemenid Empire that rose to power in 550 B.C. The report details the arrival of Islam to the region, and the myriad invading forces that have tried to seize control of the area now known as Afghanistan.
With relations between Hamid Karzai and the United States strained, and a resurgent Taliban, Afghanistan’s future has become a focal point of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Although no clear policy has emerged, Obama has announced that he will follow through with a campaign promise to increase troop numbers in an effort to combat instability.
The Afghan News Network
provides up-to-date headlines about current events in Afghanistan drawn mostly from news wire services around the world, with a special focus on the political climate in the country.
Frontline: The Other War
examined the opposition group that has caused the Karzai government the most trouble in an episode titled “Who are the Taliban?” Once in control of most of the country, the Taliban were forced from power in 2002, but have recently shown signs of returning in both Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.
Unable to exercise much control outside of Kabul and other major cities, the government of Afghanistan faces a number of challenges to the country’s stability. It has earned pledges of additional troops and support from the current U.S. administration to help combat insurgent groups and curb the region’s heroin trade.
“Still desperately seeking Osama” takes a look at the individual who has become a symbol of regional instability, and the West’s inability to gain control of the area, especially the rough terrain along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Reports have routinely placed the FBI’s most wanted terrorist in the region.
BBC: Special Reports: Afghanistan’s Future
was launched in 2004, but remains one of the most reliably updated reports on what challenges await the central Asian country over the coming years, including a resurgent Taliban, an isolated government and pressure from across their southern border in Pakistan.
Voice of America
looks at how Afghanistan’s overall instability has led to a soaring heroin-based drug trade. Although the country’s overall output has leveled over the last year, it “remains shockingly high,” according to Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
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