Afghanistan ( (listen); Pashto/Dari: افغانستان, Pashto: Afġānistān [avɣɒnisˈtɒn, ab-], Dari: Afġānestān [avɣɒnesˈtɒn]), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia.North America1000 01:24, 1 September 2019 (UTC)"Afghanistan". The World Factbook. www.cia.gov. Retrieved 22 August 2018. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Much of its 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range at the western end of the Himalayas, separating the Amu Darya and Indus valleys. Kabul is the capital and largest city.
Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia. The land has historically been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets, and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires," though it has been occupied during several different periods of its history. The land also served as the source from which the Kushans, Hephthalites, Samanids, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khaljis, Mughals, Hotaks, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire. Its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence, eventually becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until almost 50 years later when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and then a Soviet Union protectorate. This evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years. The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, and a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country.
Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million, mostly composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. It is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion; the country fares much worse in terms of per-capita GDP (PPP), ranking 167th out of 186 countries in a 2016 report from the International Monetary Fund.
Selected article -
The War in Afghanistan (or the US War in Afghanistan or the Afghanistan War), code named Operation Enduring Freedom (2001–14) and Operation Freedom's Sentinel (2015–present), followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001, when the United States of America and its allies successfully drove the Taliban from power in order to deny al-Qaeda a safe base of operations in Afghanistan. Since the initial objectives were completed, a coalition of over 40 countries (including all NATO members) formed a security mission in the country. The war has since mostly involved US and allied Afghan government troops battling Taliban insurgents. The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in US history. This war was entered into without any forward planning or thought of long term stabilisation of Afghanistan.
Following the September 11 attacks in 2001 on the US, which President George W. Bush blamed on Osama bin Laden who was living or hiding in Afghanistan and had already been wanted since 1998, President Bush demanded that the Taliban, who were de facto ruling the country, hand over bin Laden. The Taliban declined to extradite him unless they were provided clear evidence of his involvement in the attacks, which the US refused to provide and dismissed as a delaying tactic and then on 7 October 2001 launched Operation Enduring Freedom with the United Kingdom. To justify the War, the Bush administration claimed that Afghanistan only had "selective sovereignty", and that intervention was necessary because the Taliban threatened the sovereignty of other states. The two were later joined by other forces, including the Northern Alliance – the Afghan opposition which had been fighting the Taliban in the ongoing civil war since 1996. By December 2001, the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies were mostly defeated in the country, and at the Bonn Conference new Afghan interim authorities (mostly from the Northern Alliance) elected Hamid Karzai to head the Afghan Interim Administration. The United Nations Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to assist the new authority with securing Kabul, which after a 2002 loya jirga (grand assembly) became the Afghan Transitional Administration. A nationwide rebuilding effort was also made following the end of the totalitarian Taliban regime. In the popular elections of 2004, Karzai was elected president of the country, now named the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. NATO became involved in ISAF in August 2003, and later that year assumed leadership of it. At this stage, ISAF included troops from 43 countries with NATO members providing the majority of the force. One portion of US forces in Afghanistan operated under NATO command; the rest remained under direct US command. Read more...