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Here are its main findings.
- U.S. Policy in Afghanistan: Changing Strategies, Preserving Gains
- THIS WEEK IN
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Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan , and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.
Kabul is the capital and largest city. Humans lived in what is now Afghanistan at least 50, years ago. Alexander the Great invaded the region in the 4th century BCE, who married Roxana in Bactria before his Kabul Valley campaign , where he faced resistance from Aspasioi and Assakan tribes. The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom became the eastern end of the Hellenistic world.
Following the conquest by Mauryan Indians, Buddhism and Hinduism flourished in the region for centuries. Various other Buddhist dynasties originated from this region as well, including the Kidarites , Hephthalites , Alkhons , Nezaks , Zunbils and Turk Shahis.
Muslims brought Islam to Sassanian -held Herat and Zaranj in the mid-7th century, while fuller Islamization was achieved between the 9th and 12th centuries under the Saffarid , Samanid , Ghaznavid , and Ghurid dynasties. In , the Durrani capital was moved to Kabul while Peshawar became the winter capital;  the latter was lost to Sikhs in In , after a second coup, Afghanistan first became a socialist state, evoking the Soviet—Afghan War in the s against mujahideen rebels.
By , most of the country was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban , who ruled as a totalitarian regime for over five years; they were removed from power after the US invasion in but still control a significant portion of the country. The ongoing war between the government and the Taliban has contributed to the perpetuation of Afghanistan's problematic human rights record including complications of women's rights , with numerous abuses committed by both sides, such as the killing of civilians.
Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic. The country has high levels of terrorism , poverty, child malnutrition, and corruption. According to the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Islam : . The name became a state designation only during the colonial intervention of the nineteenth century. The modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that the word "Afghan" shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan portal. The country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and often fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region.
At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within vast regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire , the Macedonian Empire , the Maurya Empire , and the Islamic Empire. Excavations of prehistoric sites suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50, years ago, and that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world.
An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west, and north. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as BCE, and the early city of Mundigak near Kandahar in the south of the country was a center of the Helmand culture. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilization stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilization today part of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.
In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan.
The region at the time was referred to as Ariana. The religion Zoroastrianism is believed by some to have originated in what is now Afghanistan between and BCE, as its founder Zoroaster is thought to have lived and died in Balkh. Ancient Eastern Iranian languages may have been spoken in the region around the time of the rise of Zoroastrianism.
By the middle of the 6th century BCE, the Achaemenids overthrew the Medes and incorporated Arachosia , Aria , and Bactria within its eastern boundaries. An inscription on the tombstone of Darius I of Persia mentions the Kabul Valley in a list of the 29 countries that he had conquered. Following Alexander's brief occupation, the successor state of the Seleucid Empire controlled the region until BCE when they gave much of it to the Maurya Empire as part of an alliance treaty.
Their decline began 60 years after Ashoka 's rule ended, leading to the Hellenistic reconquest by the Greco-Bactrians. Much of it soon broke away from them and became part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. In the mid-to-late first century CE the vast Kushan Empire , centered in Afghanistan, became great patrons of Buddhist culture, making Buddhism flourish throughout the region.
The Kushans were overthrown by the Sassanids in the 3rd century CE, though the Indo-Sassanids continued to rule at least parts of the region. They were followed by the Kidarites who, in turn, were replaced by the Hephthalites.
They were replaced by the Turk Shahi in the 7th century. Before Islam was introduced, people of the region were mostly Buddhists and Zoroastrians, but there were also Surya and Nana worshipers, Jews , and others. Later, the Samanids extended their Islamic influence south of the Hindu Kush. It is reported that Muslims and non-Muslims still lived side by side in Kabul before the Ghaznavids rose to power in the 10th century.
By the 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni defeated the remaining Hindu rulers and effectively Islamized the wider region,  with the exception of Kafiristan. The Ghurids controlled Afghanistan for less than a century before being conquered by the Khwarazmian dynasty in His troops are said to have annihilated the Khwarazmian cities of Herat and Balkh as well as Bamyan.
Under the rule of Shah Rukh the city served as the focal point of the Timurid Renaissance , whose glory matched Florence of the Italian Renaissance as the center of a cultural rebirth.
In the early 16th century, Babur arrived from Ferghana and captured Kabul from the Arghun dynasty. Two of the four capitals of Khorasan Herat and Balkh are now located in Afghanistan, while the regions of Kandahar , Zabulistan , Ghazni , Kabulistan , and Afghanistan formed the frontier between Khorasan and Hindustan.
However, up to the 19th century the term Khorasan was commonly used among natives to describe their country; Sir George Elphinstone wrote with amazement that the country known to outsiders as "Afghanistan" was referred to by its own inhabitants as "Khorasan" and that the first Afghan official whom he met at the border welcomed him to Khorasan. In , Mirwais Hotak , a local Ghilzai tribal leader, successfully rebelled against the Safavids. He defeated Gurgin Khan and established his own kingdom.
Mahmud led the Afghan army in to the Persian capital of Isfahan , captured the city after the Battle of Gulnabad and proclaimed himself King of Persia. In , Nader Shah and his forces captured Kandahar, the last Hotak stronghold, from Shah Hussain Hotak , at which point the incarcerated year-old Ahmad Shah Durrani was freed and made the commander of an Afghan regiment. Soon after, the Persian and Afghan forces invaded India. By , the Afghans chose Durrani as their head of state.
In October , Durrani died of natural causes and was buried at a site now adjacent to the Shrine of the Cloak in Kandahar. He was succeeded by his son, Timur Shah , who transferred the capital of his kingdom from Kandahar to Kabul in , with Peshawar becoming the winter capital. By the early 19th century, the Afghan empire was under threat from the Persians in the west and the Sikh Empire in the east.
Fateh Khan, leader of the Barakzai tribe , had installed 21 of his brothers in positions of power throughout the empire. After his death, they rebelled and divided up the provinces of the empire between themselves. During this turbulent period, Afghanistan had many temporary rulers until Dost Mohammad Khan declared himself emir in By this time the British were advancing from the east and the first major conflict during " The Great Game " was initiated.
In , the British marched into Afghanistan and arrested Dost Mohammad , sent him into exile in India and replaced him with the previous ruler, Shah Shuja. This was a standard divide and rule policy of the British and would lead to strained relations, especially with the later new state of Pakistan.
Shia -dominated Hazarajat and pagan Kafiristan remained politically independent until being conquered by Abdur Rahman Khan in — He was known as the "Iron Amir" for his features and his ruthless methods against tribes.
Their efforts to bring Afghanistan into the Central Powers failed, but it caused discontent among the population for keeping neutrality against the British.
Habibullah was assassinated during a hunting trip in , and Amanullah Khan eventually assumed power. He moved to end his country's traditional isolation by establishing diplomatic relations with the international community, particularly with the Soviet Union and the Weimar Republic of Germany. A key force behind these reforms was Mahmud Tarzi , an ardent supporter of the education of women. He fought for Article 68 of Afghanistan's constitution , which made elementary education compulsory.
The institution of slavery was abolished in Some of the reforms that were put in place, such as the abolition of the traditional burqa for women and the opening of several co-educational schools, quickly alienated many tribal and religious leaders, and this led to the Afghan Civil War — Faced with the overwhelming armed opposition, Amanullah Khan abdicated in January , and soon after Kabul fell to Saqqawist forces led by Habibullah Kalakani.
Mohammed Zahir Shah , Nadir Shah's year-old son, succeeded to the throne and reigned from to The tribal revolts of — saw Zahir Shah's reign being challenged by Zadran , Safi , Mangal , and Wazir tribesmen led by Mazrak Zadran , Salemai , and Mirzali Khan , among others, many of whom were Amanullah loyalists. The s saw the development of roads, infrastructure, the founding of a national bank , and increased education.
Road links in the north played a large part in a growing cotton and textile industry. Until , Zahir Shah ruled with the assistance of his uncle, who held the post of Prime Minister and continued the policies of Nadir Shah. Another of Zahir Shah's uncles, Shah Mahmud Khan , became Prime Minister in and began an experiment allowing greater political freedom, but reversed the policy when it went further than he expected.
He was replaced in by Mohammed Daoud Khan , the king's cousin and brother-in-law, and a Pashtun nationalist who sought the creation of a Pashtunistan , leading to highly tense relations with Pakistan. Afterward, the constitution was formed, and the first non-royal Prime Minister was sworn in.
King Zahir Shah, like his father Nadir Shah, had a policy of maintaining national independence while pursuing gradual modernization, creating nationalist feeling, and improving relations with the United Kingdom.
However, Afghanistan remained neutral and was neither a participant in World War II nor aligned with either power bloc in the Cold War thereafter. However, it was a beneficiary of the latter rivalry as both the Soviet Union and the United States vied for influence by building Afghanistan's main highways, airports, and other vital infrastructure in the post-period.
On a per capita basis, Afghanistan received more Soviet development aid than any other country. Afghanistan had, therefore, good relations with both Cold War enemies.
In , while the King was in Italy, Daoud Khan launched a bloodless coup and became the first President of Afghanistan , abolishing the monarchy.
This caused unrest and quickly expanded into a state of civil war by , waged by guerrilla mujahideen and smaller Maoist guerillas against regime forces countrywide. It quickly turned into a proxy war as the Pakistani government provided these rebels with covert training centers, the United States supported them through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence ISI ,  and the Soviet Union sent thousands of military advisers to support the PDPA regime.
The situation in the country deteriorated under Amin and thousands of people went missing. Soviet troops in more substantial numbers were deployed to stabilize Afghanistan under Karmal, marking the beginning of the Soviet—Afghan War.
Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province functioned as an organisational and networking base for the anti-Soviet Afghan resistance, with the province's influential Deobandi ulama playing a major supporting role in promoting the 'jihad'. Another civil war broke out after the creation of a dysfunctional coalition government between leaders of various mujahideen factions.
Amid a state of anarchy and factional infighting,    various mujahideen factions committed widespread rape, murder and extortion,    while Kabul was heavily bombarded and partially destroyed by the fighting.
Around , Afghans died in internal conflicts between and In October , the United States invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power after they refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden , the prime suspect of the September 11 attacks , who was a "guest" of the Taliban and was operating his al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan.
Taliban forces meanwhile began regrouping inside Pakistan, while more coalition troops entered Afghanistan to help the rebuilding process. Over the next decade, ISAF and Afghan troops led many offensives against the Taliban, but failed to fully defeat them.
U.S. Policy in Afghanistan: Changing Strategies, Preserving Gains
The Kurds are the largest territorially concentrated ethnic group in the world without its own nation state. However, the Iraqi Kurdish population has been striving to establish its own political order for more than two decades and, in northern Iraq, a markedly developed de facto state has emerged. Iraqi Kurdistan has established a considerable degree of autonomy and domestic sovereignty, which is particularly impressive considering the current state of its parent state Iraq. This success is puzzling, when considered alongside the most prominent theory of state formation, which argues that it is war that makes states. War does not explain the Kurdish state-making process. Rather, it has been a major setback for the Iraqi Kurds after This suggests an alternative theory of state formation, which argues that social coalitions of key elites can account for successful state-building.
Much of my life over the last fifteen years has been devoted to two intertwined issues, the struggle against US state-sponsored torture and concerns regarding the appropriate ethical roles of those professional psychologists, known as operational psychologists, who act in furtherance of military and intelligence operations. These issues are intertwined because operational psychologists were central actors in the Bush-era torture program and are likely to play similar roles in future returns to torture. Great dollops of hypocrisy invariably accompany expressions of concern by outside powers for the wellbeing of the Syrian people. But even by these low standards, a new record for self-serving dishonesty is being set by the Caesar Civilian Protection Act, the new US law imposing the harshest sanctions in the world on Syria and bringing millions of Syrians to the brink of famine. The Interior Department issued a press release describing this process in more detail and referenced a U.
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The Center for Islam and Religious Freedom You may need to contact them directly to discuss internship possibilities. Locations in Brentwood and Malibu. Middle East studies majors frequently study in the region during the junior year to further language proficiency and develop research projects.
Both the US and the UK expected the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan to be quick, using a classic, enemy-centric, military approach involving air strikes and special forces operations Benes, However, although the US military quickly overthrew the Taliban government in Kabul, insurgent activity grew and continued to do so in the following years Benes, In Iraq, ineffective policies of the post-war administration contributed to the collapse of state authority and insurgency increased Benes, Support for the invasions reduced as a result of the still present terrorist threat along with increasing numbers of casualties Benes, The doctrine vowed to swap the old kinetic tactics for economic aid, military training and social projects Shorrock, para 2.
Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan , and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast. Kabul is the capital and largest city. Humans lived in what is now Afghanistan at least 50, years ago.
Bestselling author Francis Fukuyama brings together esteemed academics, political analysts, and practitioners to reflect on the U.S. experience with.
A brick kitchen and one ancient barn huddled behind the dilapidated main house. It looked as though someone were slowly removing the walls and fences for firewood. Before we were soldiers, Hunter and I came over to watch a balloon ascent. A soldier, not out of his teens, bounded from the kitchen. But it had to be an attractive thought. If you ran only at night and laid up in one of the myriad secluded coves during daylight, chances of discovery were much less. Quietly, in between those noises and with a very necessary filter, Cal told her why he had come and how important it was that he did what he did, though he did not tell her what that was.
Luck Egalitarianism Stanford Luck egalitarianism is a family of egalitarian theories of distributive justice that aim to counteract the. Egalitarianism is closely connected with individualism. Focusing on the last of these components, I distinguish between three different conceptions of global luck egalitarianism, and then compare and contrast the third conception, which I call interpretive global luck egalitarianism, with the theories of international justice defended by Beitz and Rawls. Anderson;51 for critical responses, cf. The resource egalitarian contends that welfare egalitarianism, if taken seriously, could require virtually unlimited redistribution from the nondisabled to the disabled, in order to bring the disabled as close as possible to equality of welfare with the nondisabled.
Although considerable security, political, and economic progress has been made in Afghanistan, much remains to be done to attain long-term stability and extinguish the Taliban insurgency. In this respect, while the conflict in Afghanistan is no longer consistently in the public eye, it remains of great importance to the United States. Going forward, U. Approximately 10, U.