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Until 2004, Afghanistan had no stable form of rule due to the presence of tyrannical warlords, foreign colonization, or other oppressive nations controlling it. A US led invasion in late 2001 led to the removal of the Taliban institution and later to the creation of an official and structured government and constitution. Courtesy of American intervention and monitoring, the new constitution constructed three branches: A legislative, executive, and judicial; yet it still contains many figurehead elements and other variances pertaining to Islamic Law Government Quick Facts • Suffrage – 18 Years of Age • 34 Provinces (see right) • Constitution dated • 16 January 2004 • Type – Islamic Republic • Capital – Kabul • Independence • 19 August 1919
Politics Historically, Politics in Afghanistan has been marked by power struggles, bloody coups, and highly unstable transfers of power. In the past 100 years it has been rules by almost every major system of government, including a monarchy, republic, theocracy, communist state, and now an Islamic Republic created by the United States. Currently, Afghanistan withholds a President, Hamid Karzai, elected in 2004, and a diversified Parliament containing former Mujahadeen and Taliban members, communists, reformists, Islamic fundamentalists, and 28% women.
GDP – $8.8 Mil GDP Growth Rate 8% Labor Force 15 Milion Unemployment 40% Electricity Production 754.2 Million KWh Electricity Consumption 801.4 Million KWh Economy Quick Facts • Population Below Poverty Line – 53% • Inflation Rate • 16.3% • Current Budget • $260 Million in Revenues • $561 Million in Expenditures • Currency – Afghani • Imports - $3.87 Bil. • Exports - $471 Mil. • Bilateral Debt • $8 Billion Agricultural Products: Opium, wheat, fruit, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins Industries:Small scale production of textiles, soap, fertilizer, furniture, shoes, cement; hand-woven carpets; natural gas, copper, coal Exports: Opium, fruits, nuts, hand-woven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semiprecious gems Imports: Capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products Afghanistan’s economy has only since been recuperating. Ravaged by civil war, anarchy, corruption, and a flourishing illegal opium trade, recently made efforts to establish a marketable economy have been unsuccessful. Economic growth faces other problems: Afghanistan is exceptionally poor, highly dependent on foreign agriculture, aid, and trade from foreign nations and is landlocked. Insufficient jobs, healthcare, clean water, and electricity plague any further development. The US monitored regime in Kabul often contemplates the future of the Afghan economy.
Afghanistan has been a centralized crossroads of culture and often a thoroughfare for warring empires throughout time. Located relatively near to one of the birthplaces of civilization, Afghanistan has seen much change, development, and intervention over the course of its History. Note that in the Middle Ages until the 19th century, Afghanistan was known as Khorasan. Islamic Conquest Perhaps the largest presence of a single idea in Afghanistan was the spread of Islam. The Majority of the conquerors within Afghanistan were Muslim and thus increased its influence across the land. Empires from the time of the Samanids to the Timurids in the first two centuries are considered to be the most brilliant eras of Afghanistan's history. Under leaders such as Babur and the Mughal Empire, Muslim culture was further solidified and Kabul made the capital. History Hotaki Dynasty and Durrani Empire Under the Hotaki Dynasty, Afghanistan removed foreign invaders from power, repelled a Persian invasion and later overtook the Persian capital in present day Iran while massacring civilians in Ishafan. After various inner power struggles, Ahmad Shah united the Afghan people to fight and control all of present day Afghanistan. Amir Abdur Rahman Khan
History • US War in Afghanistan • The Taliban fell in 2001 with the US and Allied invasion of Afghanistan, which is still ongoing. The US has helped to reorganize the ravaged country by implementing an entirely new Islamic Republic and a stronger economy. • European Presence, Soviet Invasion, Civil War During the Nineteenth Century, Great Britain fought a series of three wars, known as the Anglo-Afghan wars, creating a sporadic influence in Afghanistan. It was not until 1919 that complete independence was achieved. International miscommunication and treaty violations sparked an invasion by the USSR in the last days of 1979. Over 200,000 Soviet troops poured into Afghanistan, exiling 5 million civilians and killing at least 600,000. Eventually, the US supplied Mujahideen rebels and mounting international pressure force the Soviets to withdraw in 1989. The destruction of the nation's economy, leadership, and infrastructure by the Soviet Invasion created anarchy, civil war, and spontaneous power struggles for over a decade. Finally, in 1996, the Taliban regime formed and stabilized the country. Though, the Taliban ruled oppressively, eradicating civil rights, personal and economic freedom, and even almost the entire opium trade. • Video: The Taliban in Afghanistan • http://www.xaffinity.com/godspeed/Videos/WHEN_THE_TALIBAN_RULED_AFGHANISTAN_asf.asf
3 436 miles of borders Borders Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, & Pakistan Geography Quick Stats • Area - 250,000 mi² • Approx the size of TX • Lowest Point: 856 ft • Highest Point: 24 577 ft • 12.1% of land is arable Climate: Arid to Semiarid; cold winters + hot summers Terrain: Mostly rugged mountains; plains in N and SW Natural Hazards: Earthquakes in Hindu Kush Mts., Flooding and Droughts Natural Resources: Natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones Environmental Issues: Limited freshwater, soil degradation, overgrazing, deforestation, desertification, and air and water pollution - Afganistan is a Landlocked country -
Known as the Afghan National Army (ANA) Includes the Afghan Air Force Military Service age and obligation 22 Years of Age Contracted to Four Year term Manpower fit for military service Males Age 22-49 2 662 946 Females Age 22-49 2 508 574 Military expenditures 1.9 % of GDP Military Much like the Economy and Government, the Afghan Military has undergone many sudden changes since US intervention. Formerly bands of rebels, militias, and tribes, the Afghan Army is now fully organized and regulated as the Afghan National Army. Within the same military sector, over 60,000 Police officers have been trained to help combat insurgency, crime, and anarchy.
Population 31 889 923 P Growth Rate 2.625% Birth Rate 46.21/1000 Death Rate 19.96/1000 Life Expectancy 43.77 Years Literacy 28.1% Demographics Quick Facts • Age Structure • 0 – 14 Years: • 44.6% • 15-64 Years: • 53% • 65+ Years: • 2.4% • Infant Mortality • 157.43/1000 • Fertility Rate • 6.64/Woman Afghani Children Ethnicities: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2% Languages:Afghan Persian 50%, Pashto 35%, Turkic languages 11%, 30 Minor languages 4% Major Infectious Diseases: Degree of Risk – High Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever, Malaria, Rabies
Culture • Afghans display pride in their religion, country, ancestry, and above all, their independence. Like other highlanders, Afghans are regarded with mingled apprehension and condescension, for their high regard for personal honor, for their clan loyalty and for their readiness to carry and use arms to settle disputes. As clan warfare and internecine feuding has been one of their chief occupations since time immemorial, this individualistic trait has made it difficult for foreign invaders to hold the region. • Buzkashi is a national sport in Afghanistan. It is similar to polo and played by horsemen in two teams, each trying to grab and hold off a goat carcass. Afghan hounds (a type of running dog) also originated from Afghanistan. • Although literacy levels are very low, classic Persian poetry plays a very important role in the Afghan culture. Poetry has always been one of the major educational pillars in Iran and Afghanistan, to the level that it has integrated itself into culture. Persian culture has, and continues to, exert a great influence over Afghan culture. Private poetry competition events known as “musha’era” are quite common even among ordinary people. Almost every home owns one or more poetry collection of some sort, even if it is not read often.
Foreign Relations • Despite past conflicts with nations like Russia and • Iran, Afghanistan's largest influence comes from • the United States. With the Afghan government • practically in their control, the US has piloted most • of Afghanistan's relations with neighboring • countries, like Pakistan, to fight against Terrorism • and Islamic Extremists. The US military has • become practically a part of everyday life for some • Afghan citizens, and America's leaders consult the • Afghan government often in handling • communication with other countries.
Bibliography 1. "Afghanistan." Wikipedia. 09 December 2007. Wikipedia. 12 Dec 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan#Communications_and_technology>. 2. "Afghanistan." CIA World Factbook. 06 December 2007. CIA. 12 Dec 2007 <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html>.