Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia by Frank A. Clements

By Frank A. Clements

A finished A–Z examine of the background of clash in Afghanistan from 1747 to the present.

• Over forty illustrations, together with the Buddha statues at Bamyan, Kabul; Afghanistan's tough terrain; Taliban and Mujahideen opponents; and Soviet troops

• designated maps, together with the humanitarian scenario in September 2001, provinces and significant cities, ethnolinguistic teams within the quarter, and the border with Pakistan

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German aid grew to such an extent that by the 1970s, Germany ranked third after the Soviet Union and the United States in terms of assistance provided to Kabul. The German-language school became a model institution, the German Development Service brought volunteers with needed skills to Afghanistan, and the Goethe Institute was opened in Kabul to promote the German language and culture. Additionally, West German universities offered Afghans opportunities to further their studies in Germany. The East German regime was not recognized by Afghanistan, but it appeared on the scene with offers of aid, and its nationals gradually replaced those of West Germany after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan began in 1979, though West German influence was not totally ousted.

By 1936, the army, some 60,000 strong, utilized German, Italian, and Turkish officers and played a significant role in internal security. The troops were now regularly paid and housed in better accommodations, but this army was still inferior to the British India army in terms of equipment and levels of training. King Zahir continued the modernization process, for he realized that to ensure do- mestic stability and defend against external aggression, he needed a strong, modern force. The minister of war and commander-in-chief of the army, Shah Mahmud, embarked on a major program of reorganization and reequipping the troops.

Although the main thrust of UN involvement was the installation of the new administration, Coalition forces were still pursuing the remaining Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters, of whom there were a few thousand. As a consequence, major operations were mounted in December 2001 against opposition forces in the Tora Bora hills area, some 30 miles south of Kandahar. However, despite air attacks on the complex of caves and assaults by Coalition forces, it is estimated that some 2,000 fighters fled the area, with the majority crossing into the tribal borderlands of Pakistan.

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