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Group Description

About Afghanistan + efforts to help it develop peacefully. Being created in the Netherlands, it may have more news about Dutch efforts, including those of the Dutch armed forces serving there – and Stichting Nasr, see in Links.

Often called the crossroads - and heart - of Central Asia, Afghanistan has a long + turbulent history; invasions started in 328 BC with Alexander the Great, followed by the Scythians, White Huns + Turks. In AD 642, Arabs invaded + introduced Islam. Then the Persians, and, in 1219, Genghis Khan + his Mongols.

After Khan, Afghanistan was ruled by a series of chiefs, princes and kings, until, in the 19th century, Britain tried to occupy + use it as a buffer against the expanding Russian Empire. Independence came in 1919, after 3 wars. The Soviets invaded in 1979, but after 10 years were driven out by guerrilla fighters (mujahidin), supported by the U.S. + others.

But a bloody civil war between various mujahidin factions gave rise to warlordism until the Taliban seized power in 1996. Their ultraconservative interpretation of Islam created a harsh way of life. After “9/11”, suspected support for terrorist groups + refusal to help in the fight against Osama bin Laden led to a U.S.-led international coalition invasion. The Taliban soon surrendered, and an interim government was established.

But Afghanistan’s legendary rugged terrain, the Hindu Kush mountains (5,000 to 25,000 feet) running down the center of the landlocked country, and at least 10 distinct ethnic groups makes central governance difficult.

And general poverty, dependance on opium growing for income + continuing threat of the Taliban puts a strain on loyalty to building a liberal democracy.
Access the group with ID upfnl2 + pass-word amsterdam; or latestguest + visitor.

The group's moderated to stop irrelevant postings, but all genuine contributions are welcome. Spammers'll be banned.

Group Information

  • 70
  • Afghanistan
  • Jan 31, 2007
  • English

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