Start Your Visit WithHistorical Timelines
General Interest Maps
The country of Afghanistan has been conquered by many foreigners beginning with Alexander the Great, but none have been able to establish control over its fiercely independent population and rugged terrain. In 1979, the Soviet Union overthrew its own puppet leader and invaded Afghanistan, only to withdraw after almost a decade of frustration, death, and expense.
During the period when local Islamic militants were fighting the Soviet troops, the United States, through the CIA primarily, furnished weapons and training. Among those fighting the Soviets was the Saudi expatriate Osama bin Laden, who established al-Qaeda and eventually staged the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
In retaliation for the attack, the United States first demanded that Afghanistan turn over bin Laden and when the Taliban, who were running the country at the time, refused, the United States invaded in the fall of 2001.
The Taliban were easily overthrown and plans were drawn up for democratization of Afghanistan and improvements in its economy. However, not enough resources were supplied, particularly after the invasion of Iraq to completely eradicate the Taliban resistance, which grew stronger after its initial nadir. After various attempts to win the confidence and support of the population, made difficult by its partnership with a corrupt government and a semi-hostile ally in Pakistan, the United States has begun to reduce its commitment with the intent of ending the longest war in its history.
- - - Books You May Like Include: ----
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright.
National Book Award FinalistA Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times Book Review Best Book of the YearA gripping narrati...
From Colony to Superpower by George C. Herring.
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes two Pulitzer Prize winn...
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll.
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan & Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, written by Steve Coll, won the 200...
Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren.
This best-selling history is the first fully comprehensive history of America s involvement in the Middle East from George Washington to George W. Bus...
Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow.
"One of my favorite ideas is, never to keep an unnecessary soldier," Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1792. Neither Jefferson nor the other Founders could e...
Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times by George Crile III.
In a little over a decade, two events have transformed the world we live in: the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of militant Islam. Charlie ...
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell.
On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission w...
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer.
Like the men whose epic stories Jon Krakauer has told in his previous bestsellers, Pat Tillman was an irrepressible individualist and iconoclast. In M...