Headlines
Tom Cotton 'at ease' with drill sergeant in ad against Sen. Pryor

Tom Cotton 'at ease' with drill sergeant in ad against Sen. Pryor

WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor may have touched a political third rail while fighting for his political life against freshman Rep. Tom Cotton.
Gabrielle Levy
First lady Michelle Obama to guest star on 'Nashville'

First lady Michelle Obama to guest star on 'Nashville'

NEW YORK, April 18 (UPI) -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and country music artist Kellie Pickler will guest star as themselves on an episode of the drama series, {i:Nashville}, ABC said.
Karen Butler
Obama tells Wounded Warriors they are an inspiration

Obama tells Wounded Warriors they are an inspiration

WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- President Obama welcomed the Wounded Warriors Soldier Ride to the White House on Thursday, telling veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan they are an inspiration.
Frances Burns
Afghanistan not ready to govern on its own, State Dept. assessments say

Afghanistan not ready to govern on its own, State Dept. assessments say

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Confidential assessments by the U.S. State Department indicate Afghanistan is not prepared to govern itself after the United States withdraws its troops.
Ed Adamczyk
Soldier who killed himself was nephew of missing mudslide couple

Soldier who killed himself was nephew of missing mudslide couple

OSO, Wash., April 16 (UPI) -- Spc. Christopher Dombroski killed himself after having taken an emergency leave of absence from the Army to search for aunt and uncle.
Danielle Haynes
Syrian opposition urges U.S. action after Aleppo 'genocide'

Syrian opposition urges U.S. action after Aleppo 'genocide'

ALEPPO, Syria, April 15 (UPI) -- The head of the Syrian National Coalition has asked the U.S. and other nations to take action to stop the "genocide" after bombings in Aleppo.
Aileen Graef
Afghan economy faces shortfall as Western aid projects disappear

Afghan economy faces shortfall as Western aid projects disappear

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 15 (UPI) -- Afghanistan faces a budget shortfall of about 20 percent of its expenditures, which could lead to a suspension of government workers’ salaries.
Ed Adamczyk
Afghan deputy minister abducted while driving to work

Afghan deputy minister abducted while driving to work

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 15 (UPI) -- Afghan Deputy Minister of Public Works Ahmad Shah Wahid was abducted Tuesday in northwest Kabul while on his way into work.
JC Finley
Former foreign minister frontrunner in Afghan presidential elections

Former foreign minister frontrunner in Afghan presidential elections

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 14 (UPI) -- Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission has named former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah as the frontrunner for the presidency.
JC Finley
U.S. congratulates Afghanistan on 'historic' presidential elections

U.S. congratulates Afghanistan on 'historic' presidential elections

WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Afghanistan for a successful voter turnout for Saturday's presidential elections.
JC Finley
Extremely high voter turnout in Afghan elections despite Taliban threat

Extremely high voter turnout in Afghan elections despite Taliban threat

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 6 (UPI) -- Afghanistan's third presidential election saw remarkably high voter turnout despite threats of violence from the Taliban.
Aileen Graef
House members grill USAID official on money spent in Afghanistan

House members grill USAID official on money spent in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- House subcommittee: USAID has spent $17 billion since 2001 to help Afghanistan rebuild but without safeguards in place to avoid corruption.
John Kuhn, Medill News Service
Afghanistan election held despite threat of violence

Afghanistan election held despite threat of violence

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 5 (UPI) -- Despite Taliban threat, very little violence during Afghanistan's first democratic election in modern history.
Danielle Haynes
Two Associated Press journalists shot, one fatally, in Afghanistan

Two Associated Press journalists shot, one fatally, in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 4 (UPI) -- Two Associated Press journalists were shot Friday in Afghanistan, one fatally.
JC Finley
Afghanistan prepares for Saturday's national election

Afghanistan prepares for Saturday's national election

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 3 (UPI) -- Afghanistan's national vote Saturday will exclude roughly 10 percent of voting districts too dangerous to protect, and where no votes are expected.
Ed Adamczyk
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The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a landlocked country in south-central Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. In addition; India claims a border with Afghanistan at the Wakhan corridor as part of its claim on the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Kashmir currently controlled by Pakistan.

The territories now comprising Afghanistan have been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and human migration. The land is at an important geostrategic location, connecting East, South, West and Central Asia, and has been home to various peoples through the ages. The region has been a target of various invaders since antiquity, including by Alexander the Great, the Mauryan Empire, Muslim armies, and Genghis Khan, and has served as a source from which many kingdoms, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Timurids, and many others have risen to form empires of their own.

The political history of Afghanistan begins in the 18th century with the rise of the Pashtun tribes (known as Afghans in Persian), when in 1709 the Hotaki dynasty established its rule in Kandahar and, more specifically, when Ahmad Shah Durrani created the Durrani Empire in 1747 which became the forerunner of modern Afghanistan. Its capital was shifted in 1776 from Kandahar to Kabul and most of its territories ceded to neighboring empires by 1893. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in "The Great Game" between the British and Russian empires. On August 19, 1919, following the third Anglo-Afghan war, the country regained independence from the United Kingdom over its foreign affairs.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "War in Afghanistan."
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