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The war rug tradition of Afghanistan has its origins in the decade of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979, and has continued through subsequent military, political and social conflicts. Afghan rug-makers began incorporating the apparatus of war into their designs almost immediately after the Soviet Union invaded their country. They continue to do so today in the wake of the United States' 2001 invasion of Afghanistan which ousted the Taliban government of Mullah Omar but has failed to bring an end to violence in the country. The rugs produced in response to these events are among the world's richest traditions of war art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The terms Baluch and war rug are generalisations given to the genre by rug dealers, commercial galleries, collectors, critics and commentators. The distinctive characteristic of these rugs is their capacity to convey their makers' experiences and interpretations of the circumstances and politics of war and conflict in the region.
Little is known about the circumstances of war rugs' production and distribution, or their makers' intentions.
Jürgen Wasim Frembgen and Hans Werner Mohm: Lebensbaum und Kalaschnikow. Krieg und Frieden im Spiegel afghanischer Bildteppiche, Gollenstein Verlag (publishers), Blieskastel (in Germany), 2000. This is the first known serious and detailed study of any substance in the field of the so-called "War Rugs" from Afghanistan