The Swallows of Kabul Afghanistan: A Brief History Afghanistan: A Brief History Afghanistan: A Brief History Afghanistan is an independent country of 29 million people located in south central Asia, bordered by Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, and the Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north. The capital of Afghanistan is Kabul. KABUL Afghanistan: A Brief History Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, has a metropolitan population of over 3 million people. The origins of Kabul date back nearly 3,500 years. The most widely used languages are Dari (Persian) and Pashto. 99% of Afghan people are Muslim. Afghanistan: A Brief History Modern-day Afghanistan is a complex contradiction, trying to blend the advancements of modern society with the traditions and customs of thousands of years of tribal history. Afghanistan: A Brief History The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan Afghanistan: A Brief History Afghanistan: A Brief History In 1979, the Soviet Union, supporting the Communistbacked Afghan government, rolled into Afghanistan. The war between the Soviets and the rebel fighters, known as the mujahideen, waged for nearly 10 years, with the Soviets finally withdrawing in 1989. The mujahideen, who included a young Osama bin Laden, were supported and armed by the United States and other countries. Afghanistan: A Brief History Following the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, Afghanistan fell into civil war, with the Taliban emerging victorious, claiming control over the country. The capital, Kabul, fell to Taliban control in 1996. The Taliban imposed a religious government, the rule of law dictated by strict interpretation of the teachings of the Qu’ran, the Islamic holy book. Mullah Omar Afghanistan: A Brief History Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Afghanistan and the Taliban were targeted as being the safe haven for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, allowing him to operate his terrorist operation from within Afghan borders. The United States invades and occupies Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. Afghanistan: A Brief History Today, the Taliban are not in control of Afghanistan, but they do still have significant influence in certain regions of the country. The chart at left shows the structure of power breakdown in Afghanistan. To this day, the United States still has troops in Afghanistan.