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Afghanistan Brief Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of


Afghanistan Brief Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) References: CIA s The World Factbook The Library of Congress Afghanistan Country Study – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Afghanistan Brief Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of

Afghanistan Brief
Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan)
  • References
  • CIAs The World Factbook
  • The Library of Congress Afghanistan Country
  • Seeds of Terror by Gretchen Peters
  • The Long War Journal

  • Geography
  • Climate
  • Languages
  • Culture
  • Economy
  • Natural Resources
  • Medical Information
  • History
  • Politics
  • Insurgent Groups
  • Current Operations
  • Assumptions/Questions

  • Country is landlocked and mountainous. The
    country is divided by the Hindu Kush Mountains
    into northern and southwestern.
  • Natural hazards of the land are
  • Earthquakes
  • Droughts
  • Floods
  • The longest river, the Helmand River, which
    originates in the Hindu Kush Mountains is not
    navigable and runs west to the Iranian border.
  • Environmental hazards
  • Soil degradation (Moon Dust)
  • Overgrazing
  • Deforestation
  • Desertification
  • Water pollution

Land Boundaries Total 5,529 km Border
countries China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan
2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744
km, Uzbekistan 137 km
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  • The climate is typical of an arid or semiarid
    steppe, with cold winters and dry summers.
  • The mountain regions of the northeast are
    subarctic with dry and cold winters. Severe
    blizzards generally occurs from December through
  • In the mountains bordering Pakistan, a divergent
    fringe effect of the monsoon, generally coming
    from the southeast, brings tropical air masses
    between July and September.
  • These air masses advance into central and
    southern Afghanistan, bringing increased humidity
    and some rain.
  • In the western and southern regions a northerly
    wind, known as the Wind of 120 days," blows
    during the summer months of June to September.
    This wind is usually accompanied by intense heat,
    drought, and sand storms.
  • Dust and whirlwinds frequently occur during the
    summer months on the flats in the southern part
    of the country.

  • Flag Description
  • 3 equal vertical bands of black (hoist side),
    red, and green, with the national emblem in white
    centered on the red band and slightly overlapping
    the other two bands
  • The center of the emblem features a mosque with
    pulpit and flags on either side
  • Below the mosque are numerals for the solar year
    1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of
    Afghan independence from the UK)
  • Central image is circled by a border consisting
    of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the
    upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the
    Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of
    the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression
    meaning "God is great")
  • A bottom center is a scroll bearing the name

  • Multi-cultural
  • Multiple Languages
  • Has always been a cross-roads for trade and
    cultural exchange within Asia

  • Has aspects from various religions, especially
  • Strong Arabic influence
  • Merchants still enjoy bartering

  • Narco-Terrorist State
  • Thrives on poppy production
  • In 2007 Afghanistan accounted for 95 of the
    heroin produced in the world, 753 tons
  • Capable of producing wheat, but doesnt generate
    comparable income
  • 40 unemployment in 2006
  • Mining operations

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Natural Resources
  • Natural gas
  • Petroleum
  • Coal
  • Copper
  • Chromite
  • Talc
  • Barites
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Iron ore
  • Salt
  • Precious stones
  • Semiprecious stones
  • Sulfur

Medical Information
  • Major infectious diseases
  • Risk High
  • Food/Waterborne Diseases Bacterial and Protozoal
    Diarrhea, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever
  • Vectorborne Disease Malaria
  • Animal Contact Disease Rabies
  • (Note highly pathogenic H5N1 avian
    influenza has been identified in this country it
    poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
    possible among US citizens who have close contact
    with birds (2009)).

  • Alexander the Great conquers area around the
    year 330 B.C.
  • Afghans resist foreign rule
  • First known religion in Afghanistan was
  • Buddhism followed later.
  • In 652 AD, Arabs introduced Islamic teachings.

  • In the mid 900s, the Ghaznavid Dynasty made
    Afghanistan become the center of Islamic power
    and civilization.
  • By the year 1220, Genghis Khans conquest
    destroyed the irrigation system, resulting in the
    desertification of Afghanistans fertile soil.
  • From 1500-1700, the country was bitterly divided
    by the Uzbeks in the north, the Persians in the
    west and the Pashtuns and the Mughals in the
  • During this time period, war continued to tear
    the country apart.

  • Afghanistans internal affairs were further
    disturbed by the Tsarist Russian and British
  • The British Indian colony was looking to expand
    to the Hindu Kush mountains while the Russians
    were expanding to the south and the east.

  • Founded in 1747 - Durrani Empire (Ahmed Shah
  • First Pashtun ruler
  • Afghan Nationalism
  • Current Afghan President Karzai is of the Durrani
  • Served as a buffer between the British and
    Russian empires
  • The British Indian colony was looking to expand
    to the Hindu Kush mountains
  • The Russians were expanding to the south and the
  • It won its independence in 1919

  • For 40 years, Muhammad Zahir Shah brought tribal
    leaders together under a unified Afghanistan.
  • In 1978, Shahs rule was overthrown by Mohammed
    Doud Khan and established the Peoples Democratic
    Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).
  • The Soviet Union took an active interest in the
    revolution by invading Afghanistan and assigning
    power to a more moderate faction of the PDPA.
  • Islamic fundamentalist groups assisted by Osama
    Bin laden began to retaliate with the help of CIA
    and Pakistani Intelligence.
  • US also sought to exploit this situation causing
    the Soviet Union to waste resources and increase
    its leverage during the Cold War.
  • Soviet Union withdrew after casualties began to
    mount dramatically.

  • In 1979, the USSR invaded Afghanistan to enforce
    communist ideology
  • 10 years of a heavy resistance from
    anti-Communist Mujahedin rebels forced the USSR
    to withdraw in 1989
  • After the withdraw of the USSR in 1989,
    Afghanistan suffered 7 years of civil war
  • In 1996 the Taliban claimed political power over
  • Ended civil war
  • Drove out mujahidin war lords
  • Brought stabilization to the country
  • Enforced Sharia Law

History Cont.
  • Taliban control from 1996 to 2001
  • After the attacks of 9/11 Coalition Forces
    removed the Taliban regime from power during
    Operation Enduring Freedom for providing a safe
    haven for Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Ladin.
  • United Nations helped establish political
    reconstruction through introducing a Democracy
  • In 2004 Hamid Karzai became the first
    democratically elected president of Afghanistan
  • Despite gains in building a stable government, a
    resurgent Taliban remains a serious threat to
    Afghanistan government

  • National Election President Karzai is up for
  • Chief rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (strong
    support in the Herat province in the northwest).
  • Support for Karzai is slipping in the Pashtun
    South, his stronghold as a result anti US

International Politics (Cross Border problems)
  • The Spira district in Kohst province borders
    North Waziristan in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier
  • Red agencies/ districts controlled by the
  • Purple is defacto control
  • Yellow under threat.

  • Also known as "Students of Islamic Knowledge
  • Ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001
  • Their policiesincluding their treatment of women
    and support of terroristsostracized them from
    the world community.
  • The Taliban is one of the Mujahadeen ("holy
    warriors" or "freedom fighters") groups that
    formed during the war against the Soviet Union.
  • The Taliban, under the direction of Mullah
    Muhammad Omar, brought about this order through a
    very strict interpretation of Sharia law.
  • In contrast to their strict beliefs, the Taliban
    profited from smuggling operations (primarily
    electronics) and opium cultivation.
  • Although many Taliban members have fled
    Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion, many conduct
    operations throughout southern Afghanistan and
    from Pakistan.

Al Qaeda
  • Established by Osama Bin Ladin in the late 1980s
    to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan
    against the Soviet invasion.
  • Helped finance, recruit, transport, and train
    Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan
  • Current goal is to establish a pan-Islamic
    Caliphate throughout the world by working with
    allied Islamic extremist groups to overthrow
    regimes it deems "non-Islamic" and expelling
    Westerners and non-Muslims from Muslim countries.
  • Plotted to carry out terrorist operations against
    the U.S. and Israeli tourists visiting Jordan for
    millennial celebrations.
  • May have several hundred to several thousand
    members. Also serves as a focal point or umbrella
    organization for a worldwide network that
    includes many Sunni Islamic extremist groups such
    as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, some members of
    al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Movement of
    Uzbekistan, and the Harakat ul-Mujahidin.

Hezbi Iaslami
  • Meaning Islamic Party is an Islamic organization
    commonly known for fighting the Soviet occupation
    of Afghanistan.
  • Led by and founded by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar , it
    was established in Pakistan in 1975 and grew out
    of the Muslim Youth organization, an Islamist
    organization founded in Kabul by students and
    teachers at Kabul University in 1969 to combat
    communism in Afghanistan.
  • Its membership was drawn from ethnic Pashtuns,
    and its ideology from Muslim Brotherhood and
    Abdul Maududis Jamaat-e-Islami.
  • Divided into two factions Hezb-e-Islami
    Gulbuddin (HIG) and Khalis Faction.
  • Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin is considered a terrorist

  • Army of the Good, Army of the Righteous, or
    Army of the Pure
  • The Lashkar-e-Taiba was created to participate in
    the Mujahadeen conflict against the Najibullah
    regime in Afghanistan.
  • Cultivated links with the former Taliban regime
    in Afghanistan and also with Osama Bin Laden and
    his Al Qaeda network.
  • Members have carried out major attacks against
    India and its objective is to introduce an
    Islamic state in South Asia and to "liberate"
    Muslims residing in Indian Administered Kashmir.
  • The group reportedly conducts training camps and
    humanitarian work. These camps have long been
    trained by the Pakistan's powerful Inter Service
    Intelligence (ISI) agency because of their
    usefulness against India and in Afghanistan,
    though they have reportedly been told not to
    mount any operations for now.

Islamic Movement of Central Asia
  • The Islamic Movement of Central Asia (IMCA) also
    known as Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is an
    Islamist organization affiliated with Al Qaeda,
    headed by Tohir YoIdosh.
  • Operated in Central Asia since its formation on
    September 16, 2002. Its objective is to create a
    pan-Central Asia Islamist theocracy.
  • Members include Kyrgyz, Tajik, Uzbek, Chechen,
    and Uyghur militants.
  • Kyrgyz Defense Minister Esen Topoyev said there
    were several hundred Islamic militants and
    terrorist bases in Badakhsan Province,
    Afghanistan, and 1,500 terrorists in Paktia
    Province, as recently as September 2002.
  • Current situation where President was deposed
    last week requires assessment of Kyrgystans
    political landscape and security of the US leased
    Manas Air Base.

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)
  • Southeast Asias premier terror group
  • Seeks to establish a pan-Islamic state across
    Southeast Asia
  • Currently holding captured US Soldier, PFC Bowe

Current Operations
  • The 411th EN BDE may be directed South to
    assist the NATO (ISAF) forces and US Marines.
  • Currently, 4,000 US Marines along with allied
    forces are engaged with the Taliban in the
    Southern Province of Helmand.
  • Current operations are being strained by the
    logistical requirements to sustain increased
    troop strength.
  • Route Clearance high priority as convoys IED
    threat increasing.

  • Expect high elevations to restrict helicopters
    use in areas, especially during summer season.
  • Landlocked country supplies have to travel
    overland and are exposed to IED threat or have to
    be flown in at great expense and then travel
    overland to remote bases.
  • Nearest Port is in Karachi, Pakistan, 350 miles
    south of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border on the
    Indian Ocean, lots of log convoys (expect
  • 19th century infrastructure throughout most of
    the country
  • Expect communications and traveling to be
    difficult over the terrain and distances.
  • Set up BDE HQ, not falling in on anything.
  • Bring everything we need to set up (automation,
    network (cables, servers, etc), building
    materials and tools).
  • Need a robust PDSS, 15 not counting the mob
    station trainers.
  • Torch party should stay behind to after PDSS to
    start working on developing lay of land
    familiarity and build BDE TOC/living area. Need
    G4/CORs, G2, G3, Tech HQs, G6 reps.
  • Expect austere conditionsand austere logistics
    once there.
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