As of today, June 7, 2010, the War in Afghanistan is the longest war in US history. A few interesting facts
- it's a landlocked country with no real industry or agriculture to speak of...some think 1/3 of the GDP is from the drug trade...
- yet it's always been a focal point of war and invasions. Maybe to control the drugs, or profit from them...Vietnam parallels come to mind. Or maybe it's psychological...Afghanistan sits right in the middle of Asia and could be viewed as a stepping stone to any other part of Asia. Or maybe it's the *possibility* of vast unproven oil reserves.
- Let's look at a few of these invasions:
||Purpose of Invasion
|Alexander the Great
||probably just another stepping stone after Persia
||He got ousted almost immediately, calling the inhabitants "brave", "lion-like".
||Basically invaders from India, they brought Buddhism and weren't too terrible
||They left after about 100 years.
||They brought Islam
||Many different rulers emerged, mostly peacefully, and Afghanistan was the home of great architecture and liberty (for that period of history)
||he liked war and pillaging
||The mongols and successors ransacked everything. The people simply moved to the countryside as farmers.
|Tons and tons of other invaders
||At times Afghan culture flourished, at other times the occupiers were too oppressive and the populace took to the countryside as farmers. But they were always looking for the next opportunity to rebel and throw off the ruling class (true libertarians).
||Civil war started amongst the Afghans and the Soviets backed a communist faction so they invaded to "help out"
Of course the US backed the other side, causing tensions. By the withdrawal in 1989 (10 years), a half million Afghans were killed and quite likely many more Soviets. Again, afghans fled to the countryside or left the area completely. The US views this as a psychology victory over the Soviets in the Cold War...having forced the USSR into their "Vietnam War".
Wow, doesn't seem like a good record for the invaders. Seems like the guerrilla tactics worked, forcing a long slog for the invaders to endure. Every invader eventually left, pissing off the native peoples, severely weakening their invading forces in the process.
But we're Americans, that could never happen to US.