TITLE

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

PUB. DATE
May 2013
SOURCE
Background Information Summaries;5/8/2013, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Encyclopedia
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Afghanistan became a focus of the Global War on Terror in October 2001, a month after the Afghanistan-headquartered al Qaeda launched attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Afghanistan had previously been engaged in two decades of conflict, first between invading Soviet forces and Islamist mujahideen and then between the Islamist fundamentalist Taliban and the more secular Northern Alliance. The latter became allies of the United States in the wake of 9/11, after the Taliban regime declined to extradite Osama bin Laden and other members of al Qaeda. Although American and allied forces soon overcame the Taliban, the fundamentalists continued to resist. Despite the US's deployment of an additional 30,000 troops in 2010, insurgent groups have continued to achieve limited successes, even establishing a shadow government in outlying areas of the country. Also in 2010, the Afghan, US, and Pakistani governments began to reach out to the Taliban to discuss preliminary steps for peace talks. While some factions of the Taliban appear to be amenable to the prospect of talks, among others they have touched off a new wave of violence, including the assassination of the head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani. With NATO troops scheduled to withdraw from the country in 2014, Western forces find themselves more pressured than ever to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Without this, experts warn, the troops' absence is likely to create a power vacuum that will plunge the country into civil war.
ACCESSION #
88926834

 

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