Official Full Name: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Ethnic Groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, other
Languages: Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%
Religions: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%
Government: Presidential Republic
Legislature: House of Representatives
A. War in Afghanistan
Type of Conflict: Continuous Revolution
Conventionally Dated Period: 27 April 1978 – Present
- Afghani Government
- Taliban and other Muslim Militias
The War in Afghanistan is in fact a three-part conflict starting in 1978 with the communist coup. After the disposal of the Afghan monarchy, the newly formed PDPA was not well-supported by the public and resorted to implementing harsh punishments against any political outcry. This led to the assassination of many communist figures and violent police crackdowns. The Soviet Union tried intervening but the local communist government did not see eye to eye with Soviet policies. In 1989, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan and left a devastating legacy.
While communism fell shortly after, a power vacuum surged in the Afghan government which led to neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran attempting to install a favorable government who would eventually pledge loyalty. In 1992 at the Peshawar Accords, the various political parties agreed to form a united government then effectively establishing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Multiple conflict then arose and saw the breakdown of the central government. While different factions were fighting each other for power, the Taliban emerged as the winner.
The last and current stage in the conflict occurred after the September 11 attacks on the United States. In retaliation, US-led NATO troops entered Afghanistan and disposed the Taliban government in hopes of creating a working democracy. Currently, the government is led by supposedly elected Hamid Karzai, who struggles to keep his balance within the government and with international oversight forces.
Peace Process: No