ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Afghanistan: Listen to History

Updated on August 23, 2009

Long ago and far away but in the same Afghanistan, a major world power had flung its strength and military cutting edge forces against what seemed to be a ragtag, obsolete tribal army. By 1842, the world power military force had been defeated. This world power had colonized India well and sought to project its "forward policy" of defense into Afghanistan. The world power was Britain. Years went by and the Brits sought politely at first, to have their embassy in Kabul. It was rejected. Russia turned its attention to Central Asia. In the summer of 1878 Russia sent an uninvited diplomatic mission to Kabul, headed by Russia's General Stolyetov, setting in motion the train of events that led to the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Because Russian had walked in and created their embassy in Kabul, Britain was outraged and now demanded Afghanistan's king to allow their own embassy. On November 21, 1878, British troops entered Afghanistan at three points. Afghanistan, having turned in desperation to the Russians, received no assistance from them.

Thus, the second British-Afghanistan war begun and ran for a few years. The British were never able to control all of the vast area of the county and numerous warring tribes existed in many areas. Only key towns and cities were considered safe. The British never sent enough troops to secure and control all of the country, key provinces were secured, namely those close to the India border in self-defense. Britain had considered cutting up the country but again, military force alone would not succeed because too many areas remained in Afghanistan's warring tribes hands. Some of the tribal leaders seemed to side with the British, at least for awhile, but ultimately, most turned on them to repell the foreign invader. As time went on, the Afghanistan tribes discarded their differences and jealousies between them and coalesced under one leader, Ayub Khan. Their numbers reaching over 10,000 men. Many of their weapons were antiques but enough were captured from previous battles with the British to arm with modern rifles.

The Battles of Kandahar and Maiwand made Britain see the light and set in motion the withdrawal of all British troops from the country.

In 1979-80, the Russians returned and invaded the country once again. For the next 7-8 years, the Soviets sought to control the country as part of its attempt to expand its own borders. Like the British, they tried to control the key provinces while ignoring other areas due to lack of troops. The Russians were only successful to a degree but the numerous tribal factions grew to oppose the Russians. Arms were smuggled in from outside sources. The cost to maintain the invasion force ultimately made it clear to them the price was not worth it. By 1987, the situation was no better for the Russians than in 1979-80! They withdrew.

Now, the US tries and face the same identical issues faced in 1878! Even our commanders acknnowledge that at best, the war will end as a draw. What they are not saying is that even this will not last once all foreign troops have left. The whole system there is unstable subject to corruption. The locals fear the tribes and Taliban that remain in much of the country, the police are few and corrupt. Many fear the tribes also. The cost in conducting this mission is too high. Wiping out the Taliban or terrorists is an endless drain. There will always be some of them and it only takes a few of them to cause great destruction. The drug trade there provides them with cash to buy modern weapons. The US forces are looked upon by many as invaders, not liberators and the locals know from history, they will leave one day. As soon as the US troops leave a "cleaned" province, the enemy slowly returns like a deadly cancer, corrupting the police, government.

Like all other foreign invaders of Afghanistan, the US does not have the desire nor support to stay there indefinately. Time is on their side.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 

      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Not just military History dooms those who fail to heed its lessons to repeat it. Just that so much history is written in conflict makes it seem so. Good Hub

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      9 years ago

      History, or military history, tends to repeat itself over and over. The intent or weapons may have changed but all else remains the same.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Funny, just yesterday I was reading a book written in 1924 about the long history and events in Afganistan from a British publisher and author. Was thinking how little we here in America know or have been taught about the country and how distorted some of our knowledge is.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)