Afghanistan is no simple land. It’s a land of Pashtuns, which has a history of many fallen kingdoms. Naturally, nations like Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom spring to mind when we think about military superpowers.
But here’s a conundrum: why have these powerful countries, who appear to be small and helpless, kept failing to attack Afghanistan? Let’s go on a historical journey to solve the mystery of Afghanistan’s invincibility.
Afghanistan’s Perpetual Battle
Afghanistan has spent most of its existence fighting harsh wars against invaders throughout its turbulent past. The British made several attempts to conquer Afghanistan even as they began their drive for subcontinental dominance, but each time they failed miserably. It appeared impossible to quickly break the Afghan spirit.
The Soviet Quagmire
The Soviet Union entered the arena in 1979, seeking to take control of Afghanistan. They believed that a protracted conflict lasting almost ten years would be sufficient to bring down the restless country. But, they were terribly wrong. The Soviets finally discovered themselves enmeshed in an unwinnable disaster despite their greater military strength. They eventually had no choice but to flee with their tails between their legs.
America’s Turn on the Battlefield
A few years later, the United States took up the invasion baton. America began its operation in Afghanistan in 2001 with the support of NATO members like Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Canada, and Poland. In an odd twist, Afghanistan was the only country to oppose this international operation.
The conflict continued for nearly 20 years, resulting in such a condition that America had to sign a deal with the Taliban to withdraw their own forces.
The Secret Lies in Demography
Why does Afghanistan prove so impervious to capture? The solution can be found in its distinct demography. Afghanistan, which is split up among several tribes, including the Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Pashtuns, offers a tough obstacle. Additionally, because it is a landlocked nation, any invading force must request assistance from its neighbors.
And even if they manage to cross the border, they would be met by the enormous Hindu Kush Mountain Range, which is home to hardy people that survive even under the most extreme conditions.
The Natural Walls of Afghanistan
Afghanistan builds an unbreakable castle out of these high mountains. The Afghan people are intimately familiar with their rough beauty, while other nations are still unaware of their dangerous landscape. The mountains were used as hiding spots during the Soviet invasion, from which militant assaults against tanks and trucks.
Supply Challenges and Tribal Dynamics
Yet, the very mountains that deter invaders also pose logistical challenges. The terrain alone makes it difficult to move supplies and things from one valley to another. Additionally, each valley is home to a unique tribe that frequently operates independently of the government and has its own set of rules. These tribal groups have a thorough awareness of their hilly territory, which makes any invasion plans more difficult.
Afghanistan is still an unsolvable mystery at the end of the day. Mountains, isolated tribes, and severe environments have combined to form an unbreakable barrier that protects it from outside dominion. History has often shown that those who undervalue this country’s seeming tiny size and fragility do so at their own risk.
Afghanistan is still resisting the cracker’s hammer, leaving the invaders frightened and healing their wounded pride.