what is the afghanistan conflict?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    To understand the Afghanistan conflict you need to know the history of Afghanistan. Up until 1973, Afghanistan was ruled by a monarch the last one, Muhammad Zahir Shah being ousted in a coup led by his cousin Daoud Khan. To spare you all the complicated bits (which would take up an entire book) Daoud Khan's coup set off an era of chaos in Afghanistan. Eventually the communists would take over in the late 1970s and the 1980s and then civil war in the 1990s.

    Afghanistan is a country with 5 major ethnic groups: the largest two are the Pashtuns and Tajiks. The Pashtuns are generally in the south and east (along the border with Pakistan) and the Tajiks are in the north. The smaller sectarian groups are the Uzbeks and Turkmen, and the Hazeras (who are Shiite instead of Sunni) most of which live in the north as well. Additionally, the Pashtuns are divided between Pakistan and Afghanistan as the boundary between the two countries (called the Durand line) was drawn by the British in an effort to divide the Pashtun people to make them easy to pacify and less of a threat to then British controlled India, Movement back and forth between the two countries is pretty common place and easy.

    It is in this context that one has to understand the Taliban and the current conflict. The Taliban (Arabic for "students") traces its lineage back to schools in British India run by conservative Muslims from the Deobandi school of Islamic thought (a close relative of Saudi Wahabism). However, because the Taliban is a movement from British India, its members are almost all from the Pashtun ethnic group and many of the early leaders of the Taliban were from the Duranni tribe (the same tribe as the last king of Afghanistan). In the mid 1990s when the Taliban first began to rise to power in Afghanistan these facts alarmed many in Afghanistan, some thought they represented a Pashtun nationalist movement and others thought they aimed to bring back the monarchy. Those alarmed formed an alliance to fight the Taliban which in the west was called the Northern Alliance, and they chose former anti-Soviet leader Ahmed Shah Massoud as their leader.

    How does this apply today? The U.S. took out the Taliban and a new government has taken power. However, elements of the Taliban still exist and many Pashtuns in Afghanistan still support the Taliban (they worry that if the Taliban are gotten rid of no one will stand up for Pashtun interests) while others do not want the Taliban (some want democracy, others want power for themselves instead). The major issue for the U.S. and the Afghan government is whether to compromise with whatever is left of the Taliban or to continue to fight them. If you compromise, you risk returning Afghanistan back to its bloody past, but if you don't, you risk alienating the Pashtuns thus making the south and east of the country ungovernable. Truly a tricky situation.

    Believe it or not this is a really short answer, I skipped a lot of things.

    Source(s): A ton of reading.
  • 1 decade ago

    A civil war between the southern tribes and the northern tribes. The USA backed the northern tribes allowing them to defeat them (the Taliban) for the time being but it came with a cost - the USA is demanding that the southern tribes (but NOT the Taliban) be a significant part of the government to drain the Taliban of support. Afghanistan has never had a working centralized government - even the king had little real power outside the capital - so it is likely a pipe dream but, if it were to work, it would be a real boon to the people there and to the civilized world.

  • lowjoy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Well it is a war that is still going on in that Country.....No one knows when it will finish ( that could be never ) plus no one even knows what it is about. Our Troops should be pulled out Pronto because it is not of our making and really nothing to do with us. We are losing a lot of Men, and a lot are coming home with horrific injuries, and will never work again in Civvy Street. Their lives are ruined and one might ask... Why ? and what for ? Perhaps in future years when other Peoples Wars start we should turn our backs and let them get on with it. These Countries would start a War over a blade of grass if it was on their turf, and we should not be so eager to go there. Perhaps next time when some of these Countries start fighting, and this Country wants to interfere we should let the Men who sit in Parliament go first, and see what it is all about...... and our men will follow... Howes zat...!!

  • 1 decade ago

    its a conflict with a group of religious radicals that believe their religion is the way life should be. and those who oppose it need to be elementated.

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