Advances in agricultural technology have brought Afghanistan into the modern era. They have allowed the country the opportunity to succeed in the global market while at the same time turning it into the war ravaged nation seen on television every night. Its history has been filled with stories of both prosperity and defeat. Agriculture has been impacted heavily by war and lack of modern tools, equipment and common know how. Although many have come to the aid of Afghanistan, moral and ethical issues have hindered those efforts. It is a country full of many possibilities, as well as people willing to fulfill them.
Brief History of Afghanistan
With a population of about 28 million, Afghanistan is the 42nd most populous country in the world. It spans an area of 647,500 km land locked in the heart of the Middle East, surrounded by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and the People's Republic of China in the far northeast. Afghanistan’s name is derived from the early Persian name, Afghan, for the earliest settlers of the land, the Pashtun Tribes. The Pashtun tribes to this day make up the largest ethnic group in the country.
The earliest inhabitants of the land were nomadic tribes who used Afghanistan’s geographic location as a passage between southern and eastern Asia to Europe and the Middle East. These passages became trade routes later designated the “Silk Road” for their importance in the silk trade. With the advent of agriculture, the nomadic tribes began to settle areas of the country. According to the center for applied linguistics, “Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in Afghanistan from as far back as 50,000 BC. The artifacts [recovered from archaeological digs] indicate that the indigenous people were small farmers and herdsmen, as they are today, very probably grouped into tribes, with small local kingdoms rising and falling through the ages” ("Afghans-Their History," 2002). These farming communities may have been some of the earliest in the world. Evidence has led experts to believe that urban civilization may have begun in the area as early as 3,000 to 2,000 BC.
With its location and history, Afghanistan has often been considered a valued prize for any army to command. Throughout history, this land’s strategic location has instigated many military conquests by leaders such as Alexander the Great, Chandragupta Maurya, and Genghis Khan. It also served local dynasties such as the Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Timurids, Mughals and many others to establish empires of their own.
Afghanistan’s political history began in the 18th century with the rise of the Pashtuns. Years later the Hotaki dynasty rose to power in Kandahar followed by Durrani. The CIA world fact book confirms, “Ahmad Shah Durrani unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011). By 1893, Kabul was made the capital and parts of the Afghanistane were ceded to neighboring empires. In the late 19th century, in an era marked by imperialism, the country became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between the British and Russian empires. The struggle between the two powers helped to form Afghanistan’s current boarders. The nation finally regained its independence from Britain in 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi.
Since the 1970s, modern Afghanistan has been in a constant state of war. In the 1979 Soviet War, the Soviet army occupied the country until a Taliban supported military intervention from Pakistan opened the doors for the Taliban to become the ruling class in Afghanistan. After the September 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centers, the United States spearheaded military operations that overthrew the Taliban government. As a result of these operations and US help, the Karzai administration gained...