Ted Thornton
History of the Middle East Database
Benchmarks in the History of Afghanistan

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1030: Ghaznavids.

1747 Ahmad Shah Durrani unites Pashtun tribes to form Afghanistan.

1919: Afghanistan gains independence from the British.

1820s: Josiah Harlan, "a man who would be king."

1893: The British draw the "Durand Line."

1898: Afghanistan as part of Lord Curzon's "great game." 

1925: Afghanistan gains its independence from Great Britain.

1973: King Zahir deposed.

1974: Constitutional monarchy overthrown.

1978: Communist coup.

1979: Soviet occupation. Anti-Soviet jihad begins.

1982: By this time, the jihad is being funded in part by the CIA.

1986: Soviets install Najibullah as president.

1989: Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan.

1992: Najibullah ousted.  The "new great game."

1994: Taliban under Mullah Omar begins vying for power.  More on the Taliban.

1996: Taliban reign of terror.

1996, September: Taliban capture Kabul.

1997, July: Taliban setbacks in the north.

1997, November: U.N. presses Taliban on women's rights.

1998: Taliban bans kite flying and television.

1998, August:  U.S. missile attack.  Taliban massacre Shiites in Hazara.

2001, March: Taliban destroy "Bamiyan Buddhas."

2001, September: U.S. prepares to attack Afghanistan.

2001, October 21: U.S. launches war.

2001, November 13: Kabul falls and the Taliban are driven out.

2001, early December: Power struggles.

2001, December 9: Kandahar falls and Taliban are driven out.

2001, December 16:  U.S. forces overrun Tora Bora.

2001: December 22: Hamid Karzai assumes power.

2002, September 5: Attempt to assassinate Hamid Karzai.

2003, August: Taliban resurgence. More on the Taliban.

2004, January:  New constitution.

2004, November:  Elections

2005, May 11: Riots over alleged desecration of the Qur'an.

2005, September 18: Elections (in spite of intimidation from the Taliban).  More on the Taliban.

2006, March: Afghan man on trial for converting to Christianity.

2006, May: U.S. military officials begin describing Taliban resistance as an "insurgency."

2006, August: South Korean evangelical Christians expelled.

2007, Summer: Attacks from Taliban increasing.

2007, November 6: Suicide bomb attack in northern province shows spreading resurgent Taliban influence.

2008, Spring: Taliban steps up insurgency; President Karzai comes under fire for failing to deal with government corruption; Karzai threatens Pakistan.

 

BBC "Afghanistan in Depth"

Further Reading:

Barnett R. Rubin, "Saving Afghanistan," Foreign Affairs, vol. 86, no. 1, Jan.-Feb., 2007.

 

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email: tthornton@nmhschool.org

Last Revised: September 30, 2008