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Introduction: Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline...

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Current Situation: Today Afghanistan is a country in transition. After years of conflict, the country is rebuilding, although security and development remains fragile. While the capability of the insurgency was degraded during 2010, it continues to hamper efforts by the Afghan Government and the international community to restore peace, and sizeable territory is still under Taliban control. Military counter-insurgency operations are ongoing in many parts of Afghanistan.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which was created in December 2001 under UN Security Council Resolution 1386, is tasked to assist the ...

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History: Afghanistan, often called the crossroads of Central Asia, has had a turbulent history. In 328 BC, Alexander the Great entered the territory of present-day Afghanistan, then part of the Persian Empire, and established a Hellenistic state in Bactria (present-day Balkh). Invasions by the Scythians, White Huns, and Turks followed in succeeding centuries. In AD 642, Arabs invaded the entire region and ...

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History: At the crossroads of central Asia, Afghanistan is proud of having preserved its national identity in the face of the often intrusive interests of other regional powers. The foundation of modern Afghanistan is usually attributed to Ahmad Shah Abdali (1747-72) who built an empire in Afghanistan as Mughal power declined in northern India and British influence rose. The Anglo-Russian struggle for influence in Central Asia, the ‘Great Game', in the nineteenth century fuelled three British Afghan Wars in 1839-42, 1878-81 and 1919. For much of the twentieth century successive Afghan governments worked to preserve the independence of the country ...

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In the third and second centuries B.C., the Parthians, a nomadic people speaking Indo-European languages, arrived on the Iranian Plateau. The Parthians established control in most of what is Iran as early as the middle of the third century B.C.; about 100 years later another Indo-European group from the north -- the Kushans (a subgroup of the tribe called the Yuezhi by the Chinese) -- entered ...

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