History UsefulNotes / Afghanistan

16th Nov '16 1:41:28 AM MAI742
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Infighting between various Communist factions led to the UsefulNotes/SovietInvasionOfAfghanistan in 1979, which gave the Soviets what Zbigniew Brzezinski charmfully called "[[NotSoDifferent its]] UsefulNotes/VietnamWar". In response, America funded and armed the Mujahideen, a hodgepodge of different factions united in fighting the Soviets. The war showcased the degradation of fighting efficiency caused by an endemic and worsening culture of hazing and abuse of conscripts which had developed after the Great Patriotic War. Moreover the heavy use of conscripts from the Union's Muslim-majority Republics (Kyrgstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, etc) both did little to stymie Mujahideen willingness to kill Soviet troops and caused resentment of the Union's Christian and atheist citizens. The Soviet prosecution of the War in Afghanistan differed from earlier counter-insurgency efforts in that there was no forcible relocation of populations from areas thought to be supporting the insurgency, as had helped immensely in the immediate post-WWII elimination of Fascist partisans in Belarus and the OUN in western Ukraine. However, perhaps a third of the population fled to Pakistan where many remain today.

to:

Infighting between various Communist factions led to the UsefulNotes/SovietInvasionOfAfghanistan in 1979, which gave the Soviets what Zbigniew Brzezinski charmfully called "[[NotSoDifferent its]] UsefulNotes/VietnamWar". In response, America funded and armed the Mujahideen, a hodgepodge of different factions united in fighting the Soviets. The war showcased the degradation of fighting efficiency caused by an endemic and worsening culture of hazing and abuse of conscripts which had developed after the Great Patriotic War. Moreover the heavy use of conscripts from the Union's Muslim-majority Republics (Kyrgstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, etc) both did little to stymie Mujahideen willingness to kill Soviet troops and caused resentment of the Union's Christian and atheist citizens. The Soviet prosecution of the War in Afghanistan differed from earlier counter-insurgency efforts in that there was no forcible relocation of populations from areas thought to be supporting the insurgency, as had helped immensely in the immediate post-WWII elimination of Fascist partisans in Belarus and the OUN in western Ukraine. However, perhaps a third of the population fled to Pakistan where many remain today.Pakistan, facilitating the exchange of personnel and material between the two. The USA provided much of said material through Pakistan, armind and funding the Mujahideen - a hodgepodge of different factions united in fighting the Soviets.



By the end of TheNineties, the cultivation and processing of opium into heroin for export had become the second most important sector of the Afghan economy after subsistence agriculture. World demand for heroin had reached an all time high by the end of TheNineties, with the 'War on Drugs' serving to raise profits for producers and traders all the way from Afghanistan, then competing with Burma/Myanmar, to to north America. Opium taxes and heroin production served as an important source of revenue for the Taliban, especially once it had established control over most of the country and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Emirate instituted Sharia law, [[StayInTheKitchen obligatory use of the burqa for women]], [[MonumentalDamage destroyed the country's non-Islamic monuments and cultural artefacts]], and other pleasant things. Massoud continued to rule a rump state in the north, where he had established democratic institutions and tried to give equal-gender rights, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of refugees that fled the Taliban to areas controlled by Massoud. He tried to obtain help from external powers and, in 2001, [[IgnoredExpert even tried to warn them of a possible large-scale attack on the USA by Al-Qaeda]], to no avail.

to:

By the end of TheNineties, the cultivation and processing of opium into heroin for export had become the second most important sector of the Afghan economy after subsistence agriculture. World demand for heroin had reached an all time high by the end of TheNineties, with the 'War on Drugs' serving to raise profits for producers and traders all the way from Afghanistan, then competing with Burma/Myanmar, to to north America. Opium taxes and heroin production served as an important source of revenue for the Taliban, especially once it had established control over most of the country and established declared the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Emirate instituted Sharia law, [[StayInTheKitchen obligatory use of the burqa for women]], [[MonumentalDamage destroyed the country's non-Islamic monuments and cultural artefacts]], and other pleasant things. Massoud continued to rule a rump state in the north, where he had established democratic institutions and tried to give equal-gender rights, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of refugees that fled the Taliban to areas controlled by Massoud. He tried to obtain help from external powers and, in 2001, [[IgnoredExpert even tried to warn them of a possible large-scale attack on the USA by Al-Qaeda]], to no avail.
16th Nov '16 1:37:54 AM MAI742
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Being right where Persia meets the Central Asian Steppes meets the Indian subcontinent, the land has been influenced by all kinds of societies over the millennia. It is most famous in antiquity for being the world's only source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli (that marbly blueish stuff). Ethnically and religiously homogenous for all of recorded history its initial religions were a mix of steppe faiths, Indian Hindu faiths, Zoroastrianism (UsefulNotes/{{Zoroastrianism}} may have originated here and not in Persia), Buddhism, and lastly Islam. Famous empires which conquered the region included that of Alexander of Macedon 'the Great', the Seleucids/Persia, the Indian Maurya, the Timurids, the Mongols, and the Mughals.

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Being right where Persia meets the Central Asian Steppes meets the Indian subcontinent, the land has been influenced by all kinds of societies over the millennia. It is most famous in antiquity for being the world's only source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli (that marbly blueish stuff). Ethnically and religiously homogenous heterogenous for all of recorded history its initial religions were a mix of steppe faiths, Indian Hindu faiths, Zoroastrianism (UsefulNotes/{{Zoroastrianism}} may have originated here and not in Persia), Buddhism, and lastly finally Sunni Islam. Famous empires which conquered the region included that of Alexander of Macedon 'the Great', the Seleucids/Persia, the Indian Maurya, the Timurids, the Mongols, and the Mughals.
16th Nov '16 1:35:41 AM MAI742
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Afghanistan ('''Persian:''' افغانستان; '''Pashto:''' Afġānistān), also known as the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ('''Persian:''' جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Afġānestān; '''Pashto:''' د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت Da Afġānistān Islāmī Jomhoriyat). The name is on everyone’s lips. Everyone knows one of the theaters of TheWarOnTerror, the Taliban and the hijinks of Islamic fundamentalists. However, this is but the tip of the iceberg, the latest chapter of a long history of conflict for a crossroads state that had been the prize possession of many advancing empires… or rather, an ''attempted'' prize possession. More on that in a bit.

Being right where Middle East meets Central Asia meets the Indian subcontinent, the land has been influenced by all kinds of societies over the millennia. It is most famous in antiquity for supplying the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli (that marbly blueish stuff). Before the arrival of Islam, the land was used as a route connecting said areas – as a result of that it ended with a mix of Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian culture (in fact, some believe UsefulNotes/{{Zoroastrianism}} originated here). However, its location as a bridge between cultures made Afghanistan a target for anybody who wanted to expand his empire, like Alexander The Great, the Muslims, and the Mongols.

Originally a bunch of tribal fiefdoms of several ethnicities later united as an Emirate (controlled by the Pashtun ethnic group) in the 18th century, Afghanistan as it is now only came to being in the early 19th century under the House of Barakzai[[note]] (before this it was the core of the [[TheEmpire Durrani Empire]] and was far larger than it is now – at its height it controlled much of what is now Pakistan as well as all of Kashmir except the Siachen Glacier and the Buddhist outpost of Leh)[[/note]] as a result of the "Great Game" between Russia and Britain, which swallowed Afghan territory from the north and the south, respectively. In order to prevent the Russians from seizing what was left, the British made peace with the Afghan Emirs and made them a protectorate, which lasted from the 1870s until 1919, when Emir Amanullah Khan declared Afghanistan's total sovereignty.

In 1893, Afghanistan's current southern border was set up via an agreement with the British called the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durand_Line Durand Line.]] This would cause problems later. The Line cuts right through the middle of the homeland of the Pashtun, an infamously tribal people who are the largest group in Afghanistan. Regardless of what the various governments did, the Pashtuns never gave much of a flip about the border. They still don't.

Amanullah Khan declared himself King (and Afghanistan a kingdom) in the mid-1920's. He was the first Afghan leader to attempt to modernize the country, proposing a number of reforms[[note]] (a written Constitution, adoption of a solar calendar, adopting the Metric System, abolishing slavery, compulsory secular education for both sexes, encouraging Western clothing in Kabul, discouraging the burqa and seclusion of women, various tax and economic changes, etc.)[[/note]]. This upset the more religiously conservative tribal factions (including a lot of fundamentalists) who staged multiple uprisings beginning in 1923. Amanullah himself was forced to abdicate in 1929 after losing the loyalty of Pashtun tribes on both sides of the Durand Line and, by extension, the Army. Most of his reform proposals died with him (abolition of slavery being a major exception).

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Afghanistan ('''Persian:''' افغانستان; '''Pashto:''' Afġānistān), also known as the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ('''Persian:''' جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Afġānestān; '''Pashto:''' د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت Da Afġānistān Islāmī Jomhoriyat). The name is on everyone’s lips. Everyone knows one of the theaters of TheWarOnTerror, the Taliban and the hijinks of Islamic fundamentalists. However, this is but the tip of the iceberg, the latest chapter of a long history of conflict for a crossroads state that had been the prize possession of many advancing expansionist empires… or rather, an ''attempted'' prize possession. More on that in a bit.

Being right where Middle East Persia meets the Central Asia Asian Steppes meets the Indian subcontinent, the land has been influenced by all kinds of societies over the millennia. It is most famous in antiquity for supplying being the world's only source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli (that marbly blueish stuff). Before the arrival Ethnically and religiously homogenous for all of Islam, the land was used as a route connecting said areas – as a result of that it ended with recorded history its initial religions were a mix of Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian culture (in fact, some believe UsefulNotes/{{Zoroastrianism}} steppe faiths, Indian Hindu faiths, Zoroastrianism (UsefulNotes/{{Zoroastrianism}} may have originated here). However, its location as a bridge between cultures made Afghanistan a target for anybody who wanted to expand his empire, like here and not in Persia), Buddhism, and lastly Islam. Famous empires which conquered the region included that of Alexander The Great, of Macedon 'the Great', the Muslims, Seleucids/Persia, the Indian Maurya, the Timurids, the Mongols, and the Mongols.

Mughals.

Originally a bunch of tribal fiefdoms of several ethnicities later united as an Emirate (controlled by the Pashtun ethnic group) in the 18th century, Afghanistan as it is now only came to being in the early 19th century under the House of Barakzai[[note]] (before this it was the core of the [[TheEmpire Durrani Empire]] and was far larger than it is now – at its height it controlled much of what is now Pakistan as well as all of Kashmir except the Siachen Glacier and the Buddhist outpost of Leh)[[/note]] as a result of the "Great Game" between Russia the Russian Empire's muslim protectorates (the Emirate of Bukkhara and Britain, which swallowed Afghan territory from the north Khanate of Kokkand) and the south, respectively. In order to Indian princely states backed by Great Britain. To prevent the Russians from seizing what was left, Bukkharan-Kokkandi expansion the British made peace with the Afghan Emirs and made them a British protectorate, which lasted from the 1870s until 1919, when Emir Amanullah Khan declared Afghanistan's total sovereignty.

In 1893, Afghanistan's current southern border was set up via an agreement with the British called the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durand_Line Durand Line.]] This would cause Line]], creating problems later. The Line cuts right through the middle of the homeland of the Pashtun, an infamously tribal people who are the largest group in Afghanistan. Regardless of what the various governments did, the Pashtuns never gave much of a flip about the border. They still don't.

Amanullah Khan declared himself King (and Afghanistan a kingdom) in the mid-1920's. He was the first Afghan leader to attempt to modernize the country, proposing a number of reforms[[note]] (a written Constitution, adoption of a solar calendar, adopting the Metric System, abolishing slavery, compulsory secular education for both sexes, encouraging Western clothing in Kabul, discouraging the burqa and seclusion of women, various tax and economic changes, etc.)[[/note]]. This upset the more religiously conservative tribal factions (including a lot of fundamentalists) who staged multiple uprisings beginning in 1923. Amanullah himself was forced to abdicate in 1929 after losing the loyalty of Pashtun tribes on both sides of the Durand Line and, by extension, the Army. Most of his reform proposals died with him (abolition (the abolition of slavery being a major exception).



Note that word "relative" in the preceding paragraph. In 1947, Pakistan was created and the Afghan government announced they no longer recognized the Durand Line and made claims to Pakistani territory ranging from the Indus all the way to Northern Pakistan – though they really just wanted back the Pashtun tribal areas that they had claimed all along. In the 1950s, they tried border attacks. Now, this was not the brightest idea, as Pakistan's Army at the time was a force which had been recently part of UsefulNotes/KiplingsFinest, with troops who had fought and won two world wars in three decades. So it went [[CurbStompBattle about as well as you'd expect]]. In 1962, the Afghans [[WhatAnIdiot tried a much larger effort]] and got absolutely shellacked. Afghans are still a little sore about that. (Most Pakistanis have no idea the battles ever happened). During this period, Afghanistan also lent overt support to the East Turkestan separatist movement in Xinjiang, China. It went slightly less well than the efforts to cross the Durand line.

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Note that word "relative" in the preceding paragraph. In 1947, Pakistan "Pakistan" ('''P'''unjab-'''A'''fghan-'''K'''ashmir-'''I'''ndus-'''S'''ind-Baleuchis'''tan''') was created from the former Briitsh Indian Raj and the Afghan government announced they no longer recognized the Durand Line and made - making claims to Pakistani Pakistani-Afghan territory ranging from the Indus all the way to Northern Pakistan – though they really just wanted back the Pashtun tribal areas that they had claimed all along. In the 1950s, they tried border attacks. Now, this was not the brightest idea, as Pakistan's Army at the time was a force which had been recently part of UsefulNotes/KiplingsFinest, with troops who had fought and won two world wars in three decades. So it went [[CurbStompBattle about as well as you'd expect]]. In 1962, the Afghans [[WhatAnIdiot tried a much larger effort]] and got absolutely shellacked. Afghans are still a little sore about that. (Most that (whereas most Pakistanis have no idea the battles ever happened). During this period, Afghanistan also lent overt support to the East Turkestan separatist movement in Xinjiang, the Xinjiang autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It went slightly considerably less well than the efforts to cross the Durand line.



Infighting between various Communist factions led to the UsefulNotes/SovietInvasionOfAfghanistan in 1979, which gave Russia what Zbigniew Brzezinski charmfully called "[[NotSoDifferent its]] UsefulNotes/VietnamWar". In response, America funded and armed the Mujahideen, a hodgepodge of different factions united in fighting the Soviets – [[NiceJobBreakingItHero incidentally creating Al-Qaeda AND the Taliban in the process]]. So… yeah, probably more problems than it was worth.

The Soviets withdrew in 1989 and left a coherent and stable Communist state that sustained itself until 1992, but the civil war continued. This time, it was mainly between the Taliban (originally made of religious schools of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, aided by Al-Qaeda and headed by [[TheFaceless Mullah Muhammad Omar]]) and the Northern Alliance and its main man [[CulturedWarrior Ahmad Shah Massoud]], known in the region as the "Afghan who won the Cold War".

By the end of TheNineties, the Taliban had gained control of most of the country, establishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and instituting Sharia law, [[StayInTheKitchen obligatory use of the burqa for women]], [[MonumentalDamage destroying monuments]] of religions other than Islam, among other stuff. This was in marked contrast with the areas controlled by Massoud in the north, where he had established democratic institutions and tried to give equal-gender rights, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of refugees that fled the Taliban to areas controlled by Massoud. He tried to obtain help from external powers and, in 2001, [[IgnoredExpert even tried to warn them of a possible large-scale attack on America by Al-Qaeda]], to no avail.

Then 9/11 came – a day after Massoud died in a helicopter crash, possibly by Al-Qaeda’s suicide bombers (which has been seen as the attack’s point of no return). America demanded the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden and disband Al-Qaeda’s forces in the area (by then, Al-Qaeda was already a state within a state) and, after the negative answer, [[UsefulNotes/TheWarOnTerror proceeded to invade the country to disband the Taliban]].

to:

Infighting between various Communist factions led to the UsefulNotes/SovietInvasionOfAfghanistan in 1979, which gave Russia the Soviets what Zbigniew Brzezinski charmfully called "[[NotSoDifferent its]] UsefulNotes/VietnamWar". In response, America funded and armed the Mujahideen, a hodgepodge of different factions united in fighting the Soviets – [[NiceJobBreakingItHero incidentally creating Al-Qaeda AND Soviets. The war showcased the Taliban degradation of fighting efficiency caused by an endemic and worsening culture of hazing and abuse of conscripts which had developed after the Great Patriotic War. Moreover the heavy use of conscripts from the Union's Muslim-majority Republics (Kyrgstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, etc) both did little to stymie Mujahideen willingness to kill Soviet troops and caused resentment of the Union's Christian and atheist citizens. The Soviet prosecution of the War in Afghanistan differed from earlier counter-insurgency efforts in that there was no forcible relocation of populations from areas thought to be supporting the insurgency, as had helped immensely in the process]]. So… yeah, probably more problems than it was worth.

immediate post-WWII elimination of Fascist partisans in Belarus and the OUN in western Ukraine. However, perhaps a third of the population fled to Pakistan where many remain today.

The Soviets withdrew in 1989 and left 1989, leaving a coherent and stable Communist state that sustained itself until 1992, but the civil war continued. This time, it was mainly between the Taliban (originally made of religious schools of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, aided by Al-Qaeda and headed by [[TheFaceless Mullah Muhammad Omar]]) and the Northern Alliance and its main man [[CulturedWarrior Ahmad Shah Massoud]], known in the region as the "Afghan who won the Cold War".

By the end of TheNineties, the Taliban cultivation and processing of opium into heroin for export had gained become the second most important sector of the Afghan economy after subsistence agriculture. World demand for heroin had reached an all time high by the end of TheNineties, with the 'War on Drugs' serving to raise profits for producers and traders all the way from Afghanistan, then competing with Burma/Myanmar, to to north America. Opium taxes and heroin production served as an important source of revenue for the Taliban, especially once it had established control of over most of the country, establishing country and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and instituting Afghanistan. The Emirate instituted Sharia law, [[StayInTheKitchen obligatory use of the burqa for women]], [[MonumentalDamage destroying monuments]] of religions destroyed the country's non-Islamic monuments and cultural artefacts]], and other than Islam, among other stuff. This was in marked contrast with the areas controlled by pleasant things. Massoud continued to rule a rump state in the north, where he had established democratic institutions and tried to give equal-gender rights, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of refugees that fled the Taliban to areas controlled by Massoud. He tried to obtain help from external powers and, in 2001, [[IgnoredExpert even tried to warn them of a possible large-scale attack on America the USA by Al-Qaeda]], to no avail.

Then 9/11 came – Al-Qaeda instituted four plane-based attacks against US targets on the 11th of September 2001, a day after Massoud died in a helicopter crash, crash - possibly by Al-Qaeda’s suicide bombers (which has been seen as the attack’s point of no return). America The USA demanded the Taliban hand over the mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden Laden, and disband Al-Qaeda’s forces in the area (by then, Al-Qaeda was already a state within a state) and, after state). After the negative answer, predictable refusal, [[UsefulNotes/TheWarOnTerror proceeded the USA successfully obtained the UN's permission to invade the country to and disband the Taliban]].



Since then, civil war has continued between the Afghan Army (aided by NATO, but mostly the U.S.) and the remnants of the Taliban, taking advantage of Pashtuns' traditional disdain of the Durand Line to launch attacks from across the border in Pakistan. America may have mostly pulled out of the country at this point, but anyone with a brain can see the civil war is not going to end soon.

to:

Since then, civil war has continued between the Karzai's official Afghan Army (aided by NATO, but mostly federal government has been superficial and ineffectual, as its inability to engage in the U.S.) production of Heroin for export means that its opponents have access to an immensely valuable source of revenue which it does not. UN (chiefly US) funding, trainers, personnel, and weapons+equipment for the federal government have been effectively checked. Donations have been forthcoming from wealthy parties within Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring states, training and combat power have been provided by mercenaries hired using Heroin and charity funds, and weapons+equipment have been bought from traders in neighbouring states or even from within the country itself. Perhaps the greatest problem facing the federal government has been the ability of its opponents to corrupt local and regional administrations, creating a number of areas which are not definitively under the control of either party and which can seemingly change hands overnight. The remnants of the Taliban, taking Taliban have taken advantage of Pashtuns' traditional disdain of the Durand Line to launch attacks from across the border in Pakistan. America Pakistan, and groups affiliated with ISIS seem to have infiltrated through the northern border as well.

The UN
may have mostly pulled out of the country at this point, but anyone with a brain can see the civil war is not going to end soon.
when they do.
21st Jul '16 12:32:58 AM MelancholicMonkey
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* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'': Balalaika, leader of the local branch of TheMafiya, is a veteran of the Soviet intervention. So are all of her top underlings. It messed them up pretty bad.

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* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'': Balalaika, leader of the local branch of TheMafiya, is a veteran of the Soviet intervention. So are all of her top underlings. It messed them up pretty bad.
bad. In spite of the mental and physical scars they endured there, the combat experience they garnered has resulted in them arguably being the deadliest faction in the series.



* Sooraya Qadir, a.k.a. Dust from ''Comicbook/XMen'', is Afghani.

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* Sooraya Qadir, a.k.a. Dust from ''Comicbook/XMen'', is Afghani.
Afghan.
25th Mar '16 9:22:35 AM Dimas28
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[[caption-width-right:330: [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Graveyard of Empires]]]]



Despite all the problems, the country is still a marvelous cultural site – except for Bamiyan; the Taliban blew that up. You’d be surprised how much SceneryPorn you can get from a bunch of mountains and sand.

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Despite all the problems, the country is still a marvelous cultural site – except for Bamiyan; the Taliban blew that up. tourist site. You’d be surprised how much SceneryPorn you can get from a bunch of mountains and sand.
sand. Monuments are a fair game, too, especially if you're interested in Persian and Turco-Mongol architecture as can be seen in the mosques and shrines, though if you're looking for the Bamyan Buddha Statue, [[SarcasmMode surprise, surprise]], the Taliban already blew that up.



* MonumentalDamage: The Taliban engaged in a diligent campaign of blowing up anything considered non-Islamic, most notorious of which were a couple of giant statues of the Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley. To add insult to injury, they ignored pleas of Buddhist states and Japan even offered to remove them and take them to Japan. The only possible explanation is that the Taliban did it ForTheEvulz (although some did speculate that they were really doing it to kick up enough of a fuss that it would draw attention to how rough things were in the country).
** The latter speculation likely has a grain of truth. Afghanistan was under various UN sanctions before the Bamiyan Buddha incident. [=UNESCO=], in a badly timed move, proposed the preservation of the Bamiyan statues. This allowed radicals to use the argument that the UN cared more about monuments than the poverty and hunger of the Afghan people.
* NeverLearnedToRead: Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the country's population. Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world (38.2%), equalled only by some of the poorest countries in Africa, and Yemen. As you'd expect with the history of Taliban rule, female literacy is especially bad and somewhat drags down the average. Male literacy is better on its own, but still pretty abysmal. This stands especially in contrast to its northern neighbor, UsefulNotes/{{Tajikistan}}, which is just as poor as Afghanistan but has a near-perfect literacy (99.8%) for both the male and female populaces, by virtue of being a former Soviet republic.

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** The Hazaras are a downplayed example. While they are Muslims (albeit of the Shia denomination, which makes their life among the mainly-Sunni Pashtuns and Tajiks a wee bit difficult) and speak Persian as a mother language, they are suspected to be the descendants of UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan's Mongol armies, who settled in the Bamyan Valley after the subjugation of Afghanistan. They might originally be Tengrists (as with ancient Mongol peoples) and speak Mongolian, but converted to Islam over time. However their culture more or less stays as it was before, and this includes a take of the Persian language with clearly Mongolian vocabulary, or even their adoption of Shia Islam itself[[note]]Shia Islam has been historically adopted by those Muslims who protested against the mainstream authority and wanted a distinguishing feature among themselves[[/note]].
* MonumentalDamage: The Taliban engaged in a diligent campaign of blowing up anything considered non-Islamic, most notorious of which were a couple of giant statues of the Buddha in the Bamiyan Bamyan Valley. To add insult to injury, they ignored pleas of Buddhist states and Japan even offered to remove them and take them to Japan. The only possible explanation is that the Taliban did it ForTheEvulz (although some did speculate that they were really doing it to kick up enough of a fuss that it would draw attention to how rough things were in the country).
** The latter speculation likely has a grain of truth. Afghanistan was under various UN sanctions before the Bamiyan Bamyan Buddha incident. [=UNESCO=], in a badly timed move, proposed the preservation of the Bamiyan Bamyan statues. This allowed radicals to use the argument that the UN cared more about monuments than the poverty and hunger of the Afghan people.
* NeverLearnedToRead: Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the country's population. Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world (38.2%), equalled only by some of the poorest countries in Africa, and Yemen. As you'd expect with the history of Taliban rule, female literacy is especially bad and somewhat drags down the average. Male literacy is better on its own, but still pretty abysmal. This stands especially in contrast to its northern neighbor, UsefulNotes/{{Tajikistan}}, which is just as poor as Afghanistan but has a near-perfect literacy (99.8%) for both the male and female populaces, populaces by virtue of being a former Soviet republic.republic; the Soviet Union, in spite of what they did, [[PetTheDog encouraged education among their people]].
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Afghanistan is very cosmopolitan. ''Very, very, very'' cosmopolitan. There is no ethnic group that completely dominates the country. The ethnic Pashtuns that have historically been predominant make up a mere 30-40% or so. Tajiks make up an additional 27%. The third largest, Hazaras, make 9%. The remaining 30% are entirely minorities (Uzbeks, Balochis, Nuristanis, Brahui, Wakhis, Arabs, Kyrgyz...).
** Which actually makes the country's name a bit of an ArtifactTitle. "Afghan" is a mere archaic exonym for the Pashtuns, so the correct term for referring the country would be something like "Pashtunistan". However, one of the Pashtun tribes managed to prove their luck by uniting other unrelated ethnic groups as part of their domain, which made the Pashtuns no longer dominant by the time the country became internationally-recognized in the 19th century.



* PatchworkMap: Sand to the south, dry lands to the west, green valleys to the east, mountains in the center, ''snowy'' mountains to the north. [[BlatantLies Yeah, pretty sure it's all desert]].



** In fact, one of the most memorable photos taken during the Soviet invasion is the photo of Sharbat Gula A.K.A. the "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Girl Afghan Girl]]", who has striking, piercing, looking-down-to-your-soul lime green eyes. Still don't believe it?




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* SurroundedByIdiots: That panhandle you see jutting from the northeast is called the Wakhan Corridor, a rugged and untamed snowy mountainous region and a part of the Hindu Kush range. Because of the natural barrier, the region is barely, if at all, touched by all troubles the country has experienced and the people there (the Wakhis, who are, like the Hazaras, Shia Muslims in a sea of Sunnism) continue their long-running semi-nomadic life to the present day.


Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'': Dastan and Tamina visit the Hindu Kush mountains in the second act.
20th Dec '15 12:21:55 AM Dimas28
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* NeverLearnedToRead: Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the country's population. Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, equalled only by some of the poorest countries in Africa, and Yemen. As you'd expect with the history of Taliban rule, female literacy is especially bad and somewhat drags down the average. Male literacy is better on its own, but still pretty abysmal.

to:

* NeverLearnedToRead: Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the country's population. Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, world (38.2%), equalled only by some of the poorest countries in Africa, and Yemen. As you'd expect with the history of Taliban rule, female literacy is especially bad and somewhat drags down the average. Male literacy is better on its own, but still pretty abysmal. This stands especially in contrast to its northern neighbor, UsefulNotes/{{Tajikistan}}, which is just as poor as Afghanistan but has a near-perfect literacy (99.8%) for both the male and female populaces, by virtue of being a former Soviet republic.
19th Dec '15 11:48:56 AM MarkLungo
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-->—'''Bremner, Bird, and Fortune''', playing BritsWithBattleships, in 1842.[[note]] They did. Twice more.[[/note]]

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-->—'''Bremner, Bird, and Fortune''', playing BritsWithBattleships, UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships, in 1842.[[note]] They did. Twice more.[[/note]]



Note that word "relative" in the preceding paragraph. In 1947, Pakistan was created and the Afghan government announced they no longer recognized the Durand Line and made claims to Pakistani territory ranging from the Indus all the way to Northern Pakistan – though they really just wanted back the Pashtun tribal areas that they had claimed all along. In the 1950s, they tried border attacks. Now, this was not the brightest idea, as Pakistan's Army at the time was a force which had been recently part of KiplingsFinest, with troops who had fought and won two world wars in three decades. So it went [[CurbStompBattle about as well as you'd expect]]. In 1962, the Afghans [[WhatAnIdiot tried a much larger effort]] and got absolutely shellacked. Afghans are still a little sore about that. (Most Pakistanis have no idea the battles ever happened). During this period, Afghanistan also lent overt support to the East Turkestan separatist movement in Xinjiang, China. It went slightly less well than the efforts to cross the Durand line.

to:

Note that word "relative" in the preceding paragraph. In 1947, Pakistan was created and the Afghan government announced they no longer recognized the Durand Line and made claims to Pakistani territory ranging from the Indus all the way to Northern Pakistan – though they really just wanted back the Pashtun tribal areas that they had claimed all along. In the 1950s, they tried border attacks. Now, this was not the brightest idea, as Pakistan's Army at the time was a force which had been recently part of KiplingsFinest, UsefulNotes/KiplingsFinest, with troops who had fought and won two world wars in three decades. So it went [[CurbStompBattle about as well as you'd expect]]. In 1962, the Afghans [[WhatAnIdiot tried a much larger effort]] and got absolutely shellacked. Afghans are still a little sore about that. (Most Pakistanis have no idea the battles ever happened). During this period, Afghanistan also lent overt support to the East Turkestan separatist movement in Xinjiang, China. It went slightly less well than the efforts to cross the Durand line.



->The black, red, and green stripes symbolize the colonial period, the revolutions, and independent Afghanistan, respectively. At the center is the coat-of-arms, featuring a mosque with a ''mihrab'' (niche facing Mecca), flanked by two Afghan flags; above the mosque are the worlds "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great"), and below is the Islamic year 1298 (1919, the year of its independence from Britain); surrounding the mosque is a wreath of wheat, above which is the ''shahada'' (the Islamic creed), and below is a scroll containing the country's name in Pashto).

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->The black, red, and green stripes symbolize the colonial period, the revolutions, and independent Afghanistan, respectively. At the center is the coat-of-arms, featuring a mosque with a ''mihrab'' (niche facing Mecca), flanked by two Afghan flags; above the mosque are the worlds "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great"), and below is the Islamic year 1298 (1919, the year of its independence from Britain); surrounding the mosque is a wreath of wheat, above which is the ''shahada'' (the Islamic creed), and below is a scroll containing the country's name in Pashto).Pashto).
----
16th Dec '15 11:24:15 PM Doug86
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* Sooraya Qadir, a.k.a. Dust from ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', is Afghani.

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* Sooraya Qadir, a.k.a. Dust from ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', ''Comicbook/XMen'', is Afghani.
9th Oct '15 5:46:31 AM hamonrye
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'''[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Where Empires go to die.]]'''

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'''[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast '''[[ForbiddenZone Where Empires go to die.]]'''
7th Sep '15 10:01:55 PM tealmage
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Note that word "relative" in the preceding paragraph. In 1947, Pakistan was created and the Afghan government announced they no longer recognized the Durand Line and made claims to Pakistani territory ranging from the Indus all the way to Northern Pakistan – though they really just wanted back the Pashtun tribal areas that they had claimed all along. In the 1950s, they tried border attacks. Now, this was [[{{Understatement}} not the brightest idea]], as Pakistan's Army at the time was a force which had been recently part of KiplingsFinest, with troops who had fought and won two world wars in three decades. So it went [[CurbStompBattle about as well as you'd expect]]. In 1962, the Afghans [[WhatAnIdiot tried a much larger effort]] and got absolutely shellacked. Afghans are still a little sore about that. (Most Pakistanis have no idea the battles ever happened). During this period, Afghanistan also lent overt support to the East Turkestan separatist movement in Xinjiang, China. It went slightly less well than the efforts to cross the Durand line.

to:

Note that word "relative" in the preceding paragraph. In 1947, Pakistan was created and the Afghan government announced they no longer recognized the Durand Line and made claims to Pakistani territory ranging from the Indus all the way to Northern Pakistan – though they really just wanted back the Pashtun tribal areas that they had claimed all along. In the 1950s, they tried border attacks. Now, this was [[{{Understatement}} not the brightest idea]], idea, as Pakistan's Army at the time was a force which had been recently part of KiplingsFinest, with troops who had fought and won two world wars in three decades. So it went [[CurbStompBattle about as well as you'd expect]]. In 1962, the Afghans [[WhatAnIdiot tried a much larger effort]] and got absolutely shellacked. Afghans are still a little sore about that. (Most Pakistanis have no idea the battles ever happened). During this period, Afghanistan also lent overt support to the East Turkestan separatist movement in Xinjiang, China. It went slightly less well than the efforts to cross the Durand line.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.Afghanistan