reply to post by iRoyalty
Before what war? Here is brief history of that era. Up until the 1980s it was basically all communist that influenced the area, so I fail to see how
life was so great before America's "war" since there has been some kind of war going on throughout its history. Seems like its brief period of
prosperity was during the rule of King Zahir Shah. After him it was communist that tore the country down followed by Islam extremist.
The British, beleaguered in the wake of World War I, are defeated in the Third British-Afghan War (1919-21), and Afghanistan becomes an independent
nation. Concerned that Afghanistan has fallen behind the rest of the world, Amir Amanullah Khan begins a rigorous campaign of socioeconomic reform.
Afghans circa 1920s
Amanullah declares Afghanistan a monarchy, rather than an emirate, and proclaims himself king. He launches a series of modernization plans and
attempts to limit the power of the Loya Jirga, the National Council. Critics, frustrated by Amanullah's policies, take up arms in 1928 and by 1929,
the king abdicates and leaves the country.
Zahir Shah becomes king. The new king brings a semblance of stability to the country and he rules for the next 40 years.
The United States formally recognizes Afghanistan.
Britain withdraws from India, creating the predominantly Hindu but secular state of India and the Islamic state of Pakistan. The nation of Pakistan
includes a long, largely uncontrollable, border with Afghanistan.
The pro-Soviet Gen. Mohammed Daoud Khan, cousin of the king, becomes prime minister and looks to the communist nation for economic and military
assistance. He also introduces a number of social reforms including allowing women a more public presence.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agrees to help Afghanistan, and the two countries become close allies.
As part of Daoud's reforms, women are allowed to attend university and enter the workforce.
The Afghan Communist Party secretly forms. The group's principal leaders are Babrak Karmal and Nur Mohammad Taraki.
Khan overthrows the last king, Mohammed Zahir Shah, in a military coup. Khan's regime, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, comes to power.
Khan abolishes the monarchy and names himself president. The Republic of Afghanistan is established with firm ties to the USSR.
Khan proposes a new constitution that grants women rights and works to modernize the largely communist state. He also cracks down on opponents,
forcing many suspected of not supporting Khan out of the government.
Khan is killed in a communist coup. Nur Mohammad Taraki, one of the founding members of the Afghan Communist Party, takes control of the country as
president, and Babrak Karmal is named deputy prime minister. They proclaim independence from Soviet influence, and declare their policies to be based
on Islamic principles, Afghan nationalism and socioeconomic justice. Taraki signs a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. But a rivalry between
Taraki and Hafizullah Amin, another influential communist leader, leads to fighting between the two sides.
At the same time, conservative Islamic and ethnic leaders who objected to social changes introduced by Khan begin an armed revolt in the countryside.
In June, the guerrilla movement Mujahadeen is created to battle the Soviet-backed government.
American Ambassador Adolph Dubs is killed. The United States cuts off assistance to Afghanistan. A power struggle between Taraki and Deputy Prime
Minister Hafizullah Amin begins. Taraki is killed on Sept. 14 in a confrontation with Amin supporters.
The USSR invades Afghanistan on Dec. 24 to bolster the faltering communist regime. On Dec. 27, Amin and many of his followers are executed. Deputy
Prime Minister Babrak Karmal becomes prime minister. Widespread opposition to Karmal and the Soviets spawns violent public demonstrations.
By early 1980, the Mujahadeen rebels have united against Soviet invaders and the USSR-backed Afghan Army.
Some 2.8 million Afghans have fled from the war to Pakistan, and another 1.5 million have fled to Iran. Afghan guerrillas gain control of rural areas,
and Soviet troops hold urban areas.
Although he claims to have traveled to Afghanistan immediately after the Soviet invasion, Saudi Islamist Osama bin Laden makes his first documented
trip to Afghanistan to aid anti-Soviet fighters.
The United Nations investigates reported human rights violations in Afghanistan.
The Mujahadeen are receiving arms from the United States, Britain and China via Pakistan.
Osama bin LadenIn September, Osama bin Laden and 15 other Islamists form the group al-Qaida, or "the base", to continue their jihad, or holy war,
against the Soviets and other who they say oppose their goal of a pure nation governed by Islam. With their belief that the Soviet's faltering war in
Afghanistan was directly attributable to their fighting, they claim victory in their first battle, but also begin to shift their focus to America,
saying the remaining superpower is the main obstacle to the establishment of a state based on Islam.
The U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union sign peace accords in Geneva guaranteeing Afghan independence and the withdrawal of 100,000
Soviet troops. Following Soviet withdrawal, the Mujahadeen continue their resistance against the Soviet-backed regime of communist president Dr.
Mohammad Najibullah, who had been elected president of the puppet Soviet state in 1986. Afghan guerrillas name Sibhatullah Mojadidi as head of their
The Mujahadeen and other rebel groups, with the aid of turncoat government troops, storm the capital, Kabul, and oust Najibullah from power. Ahmad
Shah Masood, legendary guerrilla leader, leads the troops into the capital. The United Nations offers protection to Najibullah. The Mujahadeen, a
group already beginning to fracture as warlords fight over the future of Afghanistan, form a largely Islamic state with professor Burhannudin Rabbani
Afghan womenNewly formed Islamic militia, the Taliban, rises to power on promises of peace. Most Afghans, exhausted by years of drought, famine and
war, approve of the Taliban for upholding traditional Islamic values. The Taliban outlaw cultivation of poppies for the opium trade, crack down on
crime, and curtail the education and employment of women. Women are required to be fully veiled and are not allowed outside alone. Islamic law is
enforced via public executions and amputations. The United States refuses to recognize the authority of the Taliban.
Continuing drought devastates farmers and makes many rural areas uninhabitable. More than 1 million Afghans flee to neighboring Pakistan, where they
languish in squalid refugee camps.
The Taliban publicly executes Najibullah.
Ethnic groups in the north, under Masood's Northern Alliance, and the south, aided in part by Hamid Karzai, continue to battle the Taliban for
control of the country.
Following al-Qaida's bombings of two American embassies in Africa, President Clinton orders cruise missile attacks against bin Laden's training
camps in Afghanistan. The attacks miss the Saudi and other leaders of the terrorist group.
By now considered an international terrorist, bin Laden is widely believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, where he is cultivating thousands of followers
in terrorist training camps. The United States demands that bin Laden be extradited to stand trial for the embassy bombings. The Taliban decline to
extradite him. The United Nations punishes Afghanistan with sanctions restricting trade and economic development.
Buddhist statue in Bamiyan
Ignoring international protests, the Taliban carry out their threat to destroy Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, saying they are an affront to
Sept. 4, 2001
A month after arresting them, the Taliban put eight international aid workers on trial for spreading Christianity. Under Taliban rule, proselytizing
is punishable by death. The group is held in various Afghan prisons for months and finally released Nov. 15.
Sept. 9, 2001
Masood, still head of the Northern Alliance and the nation's top insurgent, is killed by assassins posing as journalists.
Sept. 11, 2001
Hijackers commandeer four commercial airplanes and crash them into the World Trade Center Towers in New York, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C.,
and a Pennsylvania field, killing thousands. Days later, U.S. officials say bin Laden, the Saudi exile believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, is the
prime suspect in the attack.
Oct. 7, 2001
Following unanswered demands that the Taliban turn over bin Laden, U.S. and British forces launch airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan. American
warplanes start to bomb Taliban targets and bases reportedly belonging to the al-Qaida network. The Taliban proclaim they are ready for jihad.
Nov. 13, 2001
After weeks of intense fighting with Taliban troops, the Northern Alliance enters Kabul. The retreating Taliban flee southward toward Kandahar.
Dec. 7, 2001
Taliban fighters abandon their final stronghold in Kandahar as the militia group's hold on Afghanistan continues to disintegrate. Two days later,
Taliban leaders surrender the group's final Afghan territory, the province of Zabul. The move leads the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press to
declare "the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan has totally ended."
Dec. 22, 2001
Hamid Karzai, a royalist and ethnic Pashtun, is sworn in as the leader of the interim government in Afghanistan. Karzai entered Afghanistan after
living in exile for years in neighboring Pakistan. At the U.N.-sponsored conference to determine an interim government, Karzai already has the support
of the United States and by the end of the conference is elected leader of the six-month government.