Understanding Afghanistan Today
Afghanistan has long been one of the world s most war-torn countries. Beginning in ancient times, one invader after another tried to conquer it, but only a few succeeded. And even those who did seize the country did so with tremendous difficulty. In part, this is because the Afghans are tough, independent-minded folk who do not like being told what to do by foreign intruders. Indeed, they are proud of their traditional customs, including their main religionIslamand their native literature and music. Yet, while they often fight to maintain their time-honored way of life, many of them are willing to try some new ideas. After US forces helped them expel the brutal Taliban in 2002, for example, the Afghans installed a democratic government. It still struggles to control all of the country s far flung tribes. But a majority of Afghans hope that it will eventually bring their ancient land unity, peace, and prosperity.