China and Middle Asia

Why has Afghanistan been contested and invaded so many times?

Afghanistan sits at a crossroads linking Asia with the Middle East. For millennia, it was the major transit point along the Silk Road, which brought goods from Asia to and from the Middle East. In recent times, it has been treated as a geographically strategic location because of its potential for influencing the policies of countries in both regions. It is an ethnically diverse region that is home to many tribes and cultures, all of whom have been vying for some form of control or voice in the way in which the country is governed. Therefore, in the past several hundred years, major geo-political players have sought to control, occupy, or colonize this country. Much of what we see happening in Afghanistan today has roots in conflicts dating back many centuries.


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