Mired Yet Again in the Swamp of Afghanistan

Ever since Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. tried to subdue the area of Afghanistan and encountered resistance, the area has been either the graveyard of empires or the highway of conquest.  Britain fought three wars there in the 19th and early 20th centuries, suffering heavy losses.  The Soviet Union invaded and was drawn into a nine-year struggle, 1979-1989, against the mujahideen, losing 13,000 before withdrawing. This Soviet venture had three consequences.  One is that it was a contributing factor to the fall of the Soviet Union.  A second is that it led to the rise of jihadist groups, especially the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the Haqqani network.  Afghanistan is still full of warlords and tribal groups.  A third result is that opium cultivation increased: the increase in production was more than 10% in 2016. Since October 2001, when U.S. and British forces launched air strikes, the U.S. has been involved in combat operations in the struggle against...(Read Full Article)