Military history

The Afghan Wars In An Hour: History in an Hour

The Afghan Wars In An Hour: History in an Hour

In June 2010 America's war in Afghanistan surpassed the Vietnam War as the longest war in America's history. American, British and coalition forces have been fighting in Afghanistan since October 2001, a month following the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. By the end of the year the war seemed won. But a decade on the ongoing conflict seems far from over.

Today's conflict has historical parallels - in the nineteenth century Great Britain twice invaded Afghanistan, in 1839 and 1878. Both times they had seemingly defeated the Afghan forces only to find that the Afghan soldier, not knowing the meaning of defeat, fought back inflicting on the mighty British Empire humiliating retreats.

A century later, the Soviet Union, technologically and militarily superior, also discovered to its cost that the Afghan was a tenacious foe and impossible to defeat. After a decade of conflict the Soviet Union withdrew, its military reputation in tatters.

Today, Afghanistan has been in a state of constant conflict for almost four decades. When not fighting external enemies its people have fought against each other. The Civil War of 1990 to 1996, during which the Taliban emerged, was ferocious in its intensity.

The coalition forces of today are embroiled in an equally unending war. But why are we still fighting in Afghanistan? What are the lessons of history? Who are the Taliban; who are the Mujahedeen, and why was Osama bin Laden so significant?

Chapter 1. The First Anglo-Afghan War

Chapter 2. The Second Anglo-Afghan War

Chapter 3. The Third Anglo-Afghan War

Chapter 4. The ‘Saur’ Revolution

Chapter 5. The Communist Era

Chapter 6. The Soviet War in Afghanistan

Chapter 7. The Afghan Civil War

Chapter 8. The Taliban

Chapter 9. Afghanistan under the Taliban

Chapter 10. 9/11

Chapter 11. The Afghanistan War

Chapter 12. The Taliban Insurgency

Chapter 13. The Death of Bin Laden

Chapter 14. The Ongoing War

Appendix 1: Key Players

Appendix 2: Timeline of the Afghan Wars

Appendix 3: Flags of Afghanistan