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A Brief History of Afghanistan (334 B.C.- Jan 2010)

A Brief History of Afghanistan (334 B.C.- Jan 2010)
• 334-326 BCE: Alexander the Great’s conquests Establishes many trade centers in Afghanistan to include Kandahar and Herat
• 30-248 CE: Kushan Empire The Kushans were great patrons of Buddhist art and culture; Bamiyan Buddha statues erected
• 642 – 1187 CE: Islamic Conquest of Afghanistan
Resulting in the conversion of Afghanistan to Islam from the pre-invasion practices of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and other belief systems
• 962 – 1186: Ghaznavid Dynasty A Persian dynasty of Turkic origins centered in Ghazni, brought in language (Dari) and a rich Persian culture to Afghanistan
• 1219: Mongol Invasion
The Mongols devastated Afghanistan, killing the population of major city centers, causing the population to revert to an agrarian rural society
• 1747-1826: Durrani Empire This was the beginning of the modern Afghan State and the Pashtun ruling class
• 1839-1842: First Anglo-Afghan War
The start of the “Great Game”, which was a power struggle between Russia and Great Britain in an effort to win power and dominance in the region; Britain occupies Afghanistan and uses it as a buffer to protect British India from Russian territory
• 1878-1880: Second Anglo-Afghan War Afghans attempt to oust British control of the country
• 1893: British establish the Durand Line
This disputed border separating Afghanistan from British Indian territories would eventually lead to strained relationships between Afghanistan and the new state of Pakistan; Durand line designed with the defense of India in mind
• 1919: Third Anglo-Afghan War After which Afghanistan gains full independence from Britain
• 1919 – 1929: The Kingdom of Afghanistan King Amanullah moved to end his country’s long-standing isolation and develop
diplomatic relationships with most major countries; slavery abolished in 1923
•1973: Republic of Afghanistan
Monarchy abolished; establishment of a republic
• 1978: Coup by communists backed directly by Soviet Union
• 1979: Soviets invade, install pro-Moscow government
• 1980s: Anti-Soviet jihad fought by the Mujahedeen
• 1989: Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
• 1992: Last Communist regime falls; Mujahideen forces vie for power and factional infighting begins
• 1994: Civil war intensifies; 70% of country destroyed; Taliban rise to power
• 1996: Taliban capture Kabul and declare Islamic Emirate; Osama bin Laden relocates to Afghanistan
• 1996 – 2001: Era of Taliban government’s “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”; based loosely in Shari’a Law
• 1998: U.S. cruise missiles strike an Al Qaeda terrorist training complex in Afghanistan
• Sep 2001: Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Masood killed by Al Qaeda; attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon
• Oct 2001: Coalition forces begin air and ground operations in Afghanistan, support to Northern Alliance
• Nov 2001: Northern Alliance captures Kabul
• Dec 2001: Taliban fall from power; Bonn Agreement establishes Afghan Interim Administration with Hamid Karzai elected as chairman
• Jun 2002: Hamid Karzai becomes interim President
• 2002-2003: International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces responsible for Kabul
• Aug 2003: NATO assumes command of ISAF
• Jan 2004: NATO/ISAF assumes responsibility for Northern Afghanistan and begins gradual transition of responsibility from the US led coalition
• Jan 2004: New constitution introduced
• Oct 2004: Presidential elections, Karzai elected
• Oct 2006: NATO assumes responsibility for security across Afghanistan
• Jul 2007: Former King Zahir Shah dies
• Aug 2007: Opium production soars to a record high, according to UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
• Nov 2009: President Karzai sworn in for second term amid controversy and accusations of ballot stuffing
• Dec 2009: President Obama to increase troop strength in Afghanistan from 68,000 to 100,000
• Jan 2010: Taliban introduce a “Code of Conduct” in an effort to reduce civilian casualties, soften their image, and win allies

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