The History of War in Afghanistan

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War is nothing new in Afghanistan. In the year 330, Alexander the Great became the first outside power to invade Afghanistan. In later times, Genghis Khan, the Moguls, the British, and the Soviets all tried their hand at conquering Afghanistan. Even when foreign powers weren't invading, the country has been historically wracked by Civil War.

What lessons can the U.S. learn from past conflicts in Afghanistan? What is it about this region that made it so difficult for even the mighty British and Soviets to fight there?


Thomas Gouttierre, Director of the Center for Afghan Studies at the University of Nebraska;

M. Hassan Kakar, author of "Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and Afghan Response";

Bill Martel, Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island;

NPR's Tom Gjelten on Donald Rumsfeld's upcoming trip and U.S. troop movement in the Middle East.

This program aired on October 3, 2001.


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