October 19, 2021
Afghanistan (Pashto and Dari: افغانستان, Afganistan) de facto Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي امارات, Da Afghanistan Islami Amarat; Dari: امارت اسلامی افغانستان, Imarat-i Islâmī- yi Afġânistân), is a country in South Asia or Central Asia without access to the sea surrounded by Uzbekistan to the north, China and Tajikistan to the northeast, Pakistan to the east-southeast , Iran to the west and Turkmenistan to the northwest. Crossroads of Asia, this country was, at the time of Antiquity, an important crossing point on the Silk Road and for the conquerors who wanted to take control of India: Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Emperor Babur, etc. This region is also the nucleus of vast empires such as the Bactrian Empire, the Kushan Empire or the Ghaznavid Empire. The expansion of Islam began there at the end of the 7th century. It was following the collapse of the Persian Afcharid kingdom that Afghanistan became a sovereign entity in 1747, under the command of General Ahmad Shah Durrani, who became the country's first padichah that same year. Following the Second Anglo-Afghan War, the British deprived Afghanistan of certain territories but undertook not to interfere in the internal affairs of the remaining part. The country thus became a buffer state from 1879 to 1919, remaining independent in terms of domestic policy. In 1919, following the victorious Third Anglo-Afghan War, the country regained control of its foreign policy with the Treaty of Rawalpindi, place of the defeat of the British armies, and in 1921 joined the League of Nations. Beginning in the late 1970s, Afghanistan experienced several decades of uninterrupted wars that resulted in the deaths of at least several hundred thousand people. In 1979, Soviet troops intervened militarily in Afghanistan and assassinated President Hafizullah Amin. A long war then pits the Soviets and the Afghan Communist forces against the Mujahedin, armed and supported by Pakistan, the United States, China and Iran. The Soviet forces withdrew from the country in 1989 and the communist government of Mohammad Najibullah was overthrown in 1992. The Islamic State of Afghanistan was then established, but a new civil war quickly opposed the various Mujahedin factions. The Taliban movement then emerged in 1994, under the leadership of Mullah Omar, and took advantage of these divisions to seize power in Kabul in 1996. Part of the territory, however, remained under the control of the Mujahedin of the Northern Alliance, who continued the fight against the Taliban. At the end of 2001, the Taliban regime was defeated by an international coalition led by the United States, due to its refusal to hand over the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001. The forces of the The Northern Alliance regained power and in 2004 formed the presidential-type “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” headed by a president with extensive powers but controlled by a bicameral parliament. For twenty years, however, the Taliban continued a long guerrilla war, which the forces of the Afghan government and ISAF were unable to reduce. In 2021, the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban is leading an offensive across the country. The government that the United States militarily supported collapses; on August 15, 2021, the Taliban regained power in Kabul without a fight, twenty years after being driven out.