In case you didn’t know, Afghanistan also features a good deal of mountainous and craggy terrain, making it famously difficult to invade or secure from the outside. Here, U.S. soldiers patrol the rugged Titin Valley in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan in 2007.
Hey, so what exactly are we doing fighting in Afghanistan again? What’s the U.S. role, if any, in sorting out the recent, trouble-plagued Afghan presidential election? It’s not likely that this Los Angeles Times “primer” on Afghanistan is going to get to the more uncomfortable answers to these questions, but here’s what the paper has to say for starters. —KA
Los Angeles Times:
Why is the United States fighting in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan is a landlocked country between Iran and Pakistan with a history of violence, particularly to invaders such as the British and the Russians. After the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States and its allies attacked Al Qaeda bases in the country, then controlled by the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group. The West, operating with United Nations authority, overthrew the Taliban. Al Qaeda, with its top officials including Osama bin Laden, fled to the wilds of Pakistan from where they continue to operate.