Battles That Altered The World: From Ancient Egypt to Present Afghanistan

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British indirect rule lasted from , when the British succeeded in defeating the Egyptian Army at Tel el-Kebir in September and took control of the country, to the Egyptian revolution which made Egypt a republic and when British advisers were expelled. Muhammad Ali was succeeded briefly by his son Ibrahim in September , then by a grandson Abbas I in November , then by Said in , and Isma'il in Abbas I was cautious. Said and Ismail were ambitious developers, but they spent beyond their means.

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The Suez Canal , built in partnership with the French, was completed in The cost of this and other projects had two effects: it led to enormous debt to European banks, and caused popular discontent because of the onerous taxation it required. In Ismail was forced to sell Egypt's share in the canal to the British Government. Within three years this led to the imposition of British and French controllers who sat in the Egyptian cabinet, and, "with the financial power of the bondholders behind them, were the real power in the Government. Local dissatisfaction with Ismail and with European intrusion led to the formation of the first nationalist groupings in , with Ahmad Urabi a prominent figure.

In he became head of a nationalist-dominated ministry committed to democratic reforms including parliamentary control of the budget. Fearing a reduction of their control, Britain and France intervened militarily, bombarding Alexandria and crushing the Egyptian army at the battle of Tel el-Kebir. In , the Protectorate was made official, and the title of the head of state , which in had changed from pasha to khedive , was changed again to sultan , to repudiate the vestigial suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan, who was backing the Central powers in the First World War.

Abbas II was deposed as khedive and replaced by his uncle, Hussein Kamel , as sultan. In , the Dinshaway Incident prompted many neutral Egyptians to join the nationalist movement. When the British exiled Zaghlul and his associates to Malta on 8 March , the country arose in its first modern revolution. The revolt led the UK government to issue a unilateral declaration of Egypt's independence on 22 February The new government drafted and implemented a constitution in based on a parliamentary system. Saad Zaghlul was popularly elected as Prime Minister of Egypt in In , the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty was concluded.

British military presence in Egypt lasted until Nasser assumed power as President in June British forces completed their withdrawal from the occupied Suez Canal Zone on 13 June The union was short-lived, ending in when Syria seceded, thus ending the union. Three years later , President Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. He launched the Infitah economic reform policy, while clamping down on religious and secular opposition.

It was an attempt to regain part of the Sinai territory that Israel had captured six years earlier.

50 Battles: 5,000 Years of Conflict: Over 50 Maps, Conflicts That Changed the World

Sadat hoped to seize some territory through military force, and then regain the rest of the peninsula by diplomacy. The second UN-mandated ceasefire halted military action. While the war ended with a military stalemate, it presented Sadat with a political victory that later allowed him to regain the Sinai in return for peace with Israel. Sadat made a historic visit to Israel in , which led to the peace treaty in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Sadat's initiative sparked enormous controversy in the Arab world and led to Egypt's expulsion from the Arab League , but it was supported by most Egyptians.

He was succeeded by Hosni Mubarak. In s, s, and s, terrorist attacks in Egypt became numerous and severe, and began to target Copts and foreign tourists as well as government officials. The s saw an Islamist group , al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya , engage in an extended campaign of violence, from the murders and attempted murders of prominent writers and intellectuals, to the repeated targeting of tourists and foreigners.

Serious damage was done to the largest sector of Egypt's economy—tourism [38] —and in turn to the government, but it also devastated the livelihoods of many of the people on whom the group depended for support. Victims of the campaign against the Egyptian state from — exceeded 1, [40] and included the head of the counter-terrorism police Major General Raouf Khayrat , a speaker of parliament Rifaat el-Mahgoub , dozens of European tourists and Egyptian bystanders, and over Egyptian police. The assailants trapped the people in the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. During this period, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya was given support by the governments of Iran and Sudan, as well as al-Qaeda.

In , the Kefaya "Egyptian Movement for Change" , was launched to oppose the Mubarak regime and to establish democratic reforms and greater civil liberties. On 25 January , widespread protests began against Mubarak's government. The objective of the protest was the removal of Mubarak from power. These took the form of an intensive campaign of civil resistance supported by a very large number of people and mainly consisting of continuous mass demonstrations.

By 29 January, it was becoming clear that Mubarak's government had lost control when a curfew order was ignored, and the army took a semi-neutral stance on enforcing the curfew decree. On 11 February , Mubarak resigned and fled Cairo. Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had stepped down and that the Egyptian military would assume control of the nation's affairs in the short term. On 13 February , the high level military command of Egypt announced that both the constitution and the parliament of Egypt had been dissolved.

The parliamentary election was to be held in September. A constitutional referendum was held on 19 March On 28 November , Egypt held its first parliamentary election since the previous regime had been in power. Turnout was high and there were no reports of violence, although members of some parties broke the ban on campaigning at polling places by handing out pamphlets and banners.

The history of Afghanistan summarized

The first round of a presidential election was held in Egypt on 23 and 24 May A second round was held on 16 and 17 June. On 24 June , the election commission announced that Mohamed Morsi had won the election, making him the first democratically elected president of Egypt. According to official results, Morsi took On 8 July , Egypt's new president Mohamed Morsi announced he was overriding the military edict that dissolved the country's elected parliament and he called lawmakers back into session.

On 10 July , the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt negated the decision by Morsi to call the nation's parliament back into session. On 22 November , Morsi issued a declaration immunizing his decrees from challenge and seeking to protect the work of the constituent assembly drafting the new constitution. Additionally, the declaration authorizes Morsi to take any measures necessary to protect the revolution.

Liberal and secular groups previously walked out of the constitutional constituent assembly because they believed that it would impose strict Islamic practices, while Muslim Brotherhood backers threw their support behind Morsi. Protesters also clamored from coastal cities to desert towns. Morsi offered a "national dialogue" with opposition leaders but refused to cancel a 15 December vote on a draft constitution written by an Islamist-dominated assembly that has ignited two weeks of political unrest.

It was signed into law by a presidential decree issued by Morsi on 26 December On 3 July , the constitution was suspended by order of the Egyptian army. On 30 June , on the first anniversary of the election of Morsi, millions of protesters across Egypt took to the streets and demanded the immediate resignation of the president.

On 1 July, the Egyptian Armed Forces issued a hour ultimatum that gave the country's political parties until 3 July to meet the demands of the Egyptian people. The presidency rejected the Egyptian Army's hour ultimatum, vowing that the president would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation to resolve the political crisis. On 3 July, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi , head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, announced that he had removed Morsi from power, suspended the constitution and would be calling new presidential and Shura Council elections and named Supreme Constitutional Court 's leader, Adly Mansour as acting president.

Mansour was sworn in on 4 July After that, presidential and parliamentary elections have to be held in June On 24 March , Morsi's supporters were sentenced to death , while the trial of Morsi himself was still ongoing. On 28 April, another mass trial took place with Morsi supporters sentenced to death for killing 1 police officer. In the elections of June El-Sisi won with a percentage of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on the. All years are BC. First Dynasty I c.

Old Kingdom. First Intermediate. Middle Kingdom. Second Intermediate. New Kingdom. Third Intermediate. Late Period. Thirty-first Dynasty 2nd Persian Period. Ptolemaic Hellenistic. Argead Dynasty — Ptolemaic Kingdom — See also: List of Pharaohs by Period and Dynasty. Main articles: Prehistoric Egypt and Population history of Egypt. Main articles: Ancient Egypt and History of ancient Egypt. Main articles: Ptolemaic Kingdom and Egypt Roman province. Main article: Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Main article: Anwar el-Sadat. Main article: Terrorism in Egypt. Main article: Egyptian crisis — Main article: Egyptian revolution of Main article: Post-coup unrest in Egypt — Main article: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 July History of War. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. The contemporary course of events in the Balkans, described above, nullified the first great victory won by British land forces in World War II, which took place in North Africa. When Italy declared war against Great Britain in June ,….

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Nasser took a hostile stance toward Israel. In Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, a vital waterway connecting Europe and Asia that was largely owned by French and British concerns. France and Britain responded by striking…. Brokered by U. Egyptian forces soon entered the town of Gaza, which became the headquarters of the Egyptian expeditionary force in Palestine.

As a result of heavy fighting in autumn , the area around the town under Arab occupation was reduced to a strip of territory 25 miles…. In late October the crisis culminated in the invasion of Egypt by Israel, in secret alliance with Britain and France see Suez Crisis. In the ensuing campaign, Sharon commanded paratroopers who captured the strategic Mitla Pass in the central Sinai Peninsula. He exceeded…. Nasser sought to lead the Arabs in expelling British and French imperial influence and regarded Israel as a symbol….

Likewise, the presence of 50, Egyptian troops in Yemen failed to overcome the forces supporting the Yemeni imam, who was backed in turn by Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the Cairo Conference of succeeded in rallying pan-Arab unity around resistance…. Syria, having lost the Golan Heights, faced Israeli forces within easy striking distance of…. None of these states was at the time declared an aggressor. On the other hand, Japan was found to be an aggressor in Manchuria in , Paraguay in the Chaco area in , North…. Nasser reacted to the American and British decision by declaring martial law in the canal zone and seizing control of the….

In Nasser emerged to assume control. Nasser envisioned a pan-Arab movement led by Egypt that would expel the British from the Middle…. The conflict, launched by Egypt, was meant to wear down Israel by means of a long engagement and so provide Egypt with the opportunity to dislodge Israeli forces from the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had seized from Egypt in the Six-Day June ….

For the first time it made substantial progress and inflicted a level of casualties especially damaging for the outnumbered Israelis. Syrian forces also stormed the Golan Heights. The United States and…. With the element of surprise to their advantage, Egyptian forces successfully crossed the Suez Canal with greater ease than expected, suffering only a fraction of the anticipated casualties, while Syrian forces were able to launch their offensive against Israeli positions and break…. But the Western allies found Egyptian resistance more determined than they had anticipated.

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Before they could turn their invasion into a real occupation,…. As high commissioner for Egypt —25 Allenby steered that country firmly but impartially through political disturbances and saw it recognized as a sovereign state in John within three months. The rights and territories of the Ottoman Empire and of Portugal were to be respected, with the exception that France would keep Portuguese Guinea.

Nevertheless, Egyptian sovereignty remained circumscribed by the terms of the treaty, which established a year military alliance that allowed Great Britain to impose martial law and censorship in Egypt in the event of international emergency, provided for the…. The plan was…. One necessary condition for the New Imperialism, often overlooked, is technological. Prior to the s Europeans could overawe native peoples along the coasts of Africa and Asia but….

A rebellion in the Sudan in led to the massacre of Gen. Charles Gordon and his garrison at…. Rumors of his death have been frequent, and he has not been seen for several years. The Taliban confirmed Omar's death and on July 31 announced that Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour had taken over as the group's supreme leader. Omar's family members reportedly rejected the elevation of Mansour, revealing divisions within the group.

Officials from the Afghan government met with Taliban officials in Pakistan in July to discuss reconvening peace talks. Little about the substance of the meeting was made public, but both sides agreed to resume talks. Representatives from the Taliban's main political office in Qatar claimed that the members at the meeting were not authorized to attend. However, Pakistani and Afghan officials said Mansour approved the meeting.

The controversy was further indication of how fractious the insurgent group has become. On Sept. It was the first major city that the Taliban had captured in over a decade. The following day Afghan forces launched a counterattack to retake Kunduz. Twenty-two people were killed, including 12 hospital staff members and seven patients. Soon after the incident, the U. Multiple investigations began.

Two days later, with the hospital badly damaged, Doctors Without Borders announced it was leaving Kunduz, a city in great need of medical assistance. According to a report released by the United Nations UN , at least 3, civilians were killed and 7, others were injured in Afghanistan during Those numbers made the worse year for Afghan civilian casualties since the UN began keeping track of civilian deaths in The report stated that suicide attacks by the Taliban and fighting in Kunduz, a northern city, were the primary reasons for the rise in numbers.

The report singled out Aug. Afghanistan, often called the crossroads of Central Asia, has had a turbulent history. Invasions by the Scythians, White Huns, and Turks followed in succeeding centuries. In AD , Arabs invaded the entire region and introduced Islam. Arab rule gave way to the Persians, who controlled the area until conquered by the Turkic Ghaznavids in Mahmud of Ghazni consolidated the conquests of his predecessors and turned Ghazni into a great cultural center as well as a base for frequent forays into India.

Following Mahmud's short-lived dynasty, various princes attempted to rule sections of the country until the destructive Mongol invasion of led by Genghis Khan. Following Genghis Khan's death in , a succession of petty chiefs and princes struggled for supremacy until late in the 14th century, when one of his descendants, Tamerlane, incorporated Afghanistan into his own vast Asian empire.

Babur, a descendant of Tamerlane and the founder of India's Moghul dynasty at the beginning of the 16th century, made Kabul the capital of an Afghan principality. In , Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of what is known today as Afghanistan, established his rule. A Pashtun, Durrani was elected king by a tribal council after the assassination of the Persian ruler Nadir Shah at Khabushan in the same year. Throughout his reign, Durrani consolidated chieftainships, petty principalities, and fragmented provinces into one country.

European Influence During the 19th century, collision between the expanding British Empire in the subcontinent and czarist Russia significantly influenced Afghanistan in what was termed "The Great Game. The first resulted not only in the destruction of a British army, but is remembered today as an example of the ferocity of Afghan resistance to foreign rule. This conflict brought Amir Abdur Rahman to the Afghan throne. During his reign , the British and Russians officially established the boundaries of what would become modern Afghanistan through the demarcation of the Durand Line.

The British retained effective control over Kabul's foreign affairs. Afghanistan remained neutral during World War I, despite German encouragement of anti-British feelings and Afghan rebellion along the borders of British India. The Afghan king's policy of neutrality was not universally popular within the country, however. Habibullah, Abdur Rahman's son and successor, was assassinated in , possibly by family members opposed to British influence. His third son, Amanullah, regained control of Afghanistan's foreign policy after launching the third Anglo-Afghan war with an attack on India in the same year.

During the ensuing conflict, the war-weary British relinquished their control over Afghan foreign affairs by signing the Treaty of Rawalpindi in August In commemoration of this event, Afghans celebrate August 19 as their Independence Day. Reform and Reaction King Amanullah moved to end his country's traditional isolation in the years following the third Anglo-Afghan war. He established diplomatic relations with most major countries and, following a tour of Europe and Turkey--during which he noted the modernization and secularization advanced by Ataturk--introduced several reforms intended to modernize Afghanistan.

Some of these, such as the abolition of the traditional Muslim veil for women and the opening of a number of co-educational schools, quickly alienated many tribal and religious leaders. Faced with overwhelming armed opposition, Amanullah was forced to abdicate in January after Kabul fell to forces led by Bacha-i-Saqao, a Tajik brigand. Four years later, however, he was assassinated in a revenge killing by a Kabul student. Mohammad Zahir Shah, Nadir Khan's year-old son, succeeded to the throne and reigned from to In , King Zahir Shah promulgated a liberal constitution providing for a two-chamber legislature to which the king appointed one-third of the deputies.

The people elected another third, and the remainder were selected indirectly by provincial assemblies. Although Zahir's "experiment in democracy" produced few lasting reforms, it permitted the growth of unofficial extremist parties on both the left and the right. The split reflected ethnic, class, and ideological divisions within Afghan society. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Daoud solicited military and economic assistance from both Washington and Moscow and introduced controversial social policies of a reformist nature.

Daoud's alleged support for the creation of a Pashtun state in the Pakistan-Afghan border area heightened tensions with Pakistan and eventually resulted in Daoud's dismissal in March Daoud's Republic and the April Coup Amid charges of corruption and malfeasance against the royal family and poor economic conditions created by the severe drought, former Prime Minister Daoud seized power in a military coup on July 17, Zahir Shah fled the country, eventually finding refuge in Italy.

Daoud abolished the monarchy, abrogated the constitution, and declared Afghanistan a republic with himself as its first President and Prime Minister. His attempts to carry out badly needed economic and social reforms met with little success, and the new constitution promulgated in February failed to quell chronic political instability. Seeking to exploit more effectively mounting popular disaffection, the PDPA reunified with Moscow's support.

On April 27, , the PDPA initiated a bloody coup, which resulted in the overthrow and murder of Daoud and most of his family. Opposition to the Marxist government emerged almost immediately. During its first 18 months of rule, the PDPA brutally imposed a Marxist-style "reform" program, which ran counter to deeply rooted Afghan traditions.

Decrees forcing changes in marriage customs and pushing through an ill-conceived land reform were particularly misunderstood by virtually all Afghans. In addition, thousands of members of the traditional elite, the religious establishment, and the intelligentsia were imprisoned, tortured, or murdered. Conflicts within the PDPA also surfaced early and resulted in exiles, purges, imprisonments, and executions. By the summer of , a revolt began in the Nuristan region of eastern Afghanistan and quickly spread into a countrywide insurgency. Over the next 2 months, instability plagued Amin's regime as he moved against perceived enemies in the PDPA.

By December, party morale was crumbling, and the insurgency was growing. In December , Moscow signed a new bilateral treaty of friendship and cooperation with Afghanistan, and the Soviet military assistance program increased significantly. The regime's survival increasingly was dependent upon Soviet military equipment and advisers as the insurgency spread and the Afghan army began to collapse. By October , however, relations between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union were tense as Hafizullah Amin refused to take Soviet advice on how to stabilize and consolidate his government.

Faced with a deteriorating security situation, on December 24, , large numbers of Soviet airborne forces, joining thousands of Soviet troops already on the ground, began to land in Kabul under the pretext of a field exercise. On December 26, these invasion forces killed Hafizullah Amin and installed Babrak Karmal, exiled leader of the Parcham faction, bringing him back from Czechoslovakia and making him Prime Minister.

Massive Soviet ground forces invaded from the north on December Following the invasion, the Karmal regime, although backed by an expeditionary force that grew as large as , Soviet troops, was unable to establish authority outside Kabul. An overwhelming majority of Afghans opposed the communist regime, either actively or passively. Afghan freedom fighters mujahidin made it almost impossible for the regime to maintain a system of local government outside major urban centers.

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Poorly armed at first, in the mujahidin began receiving substantial assistance in the form of weapons and training from the U. In May , the seven principal Peshawar-based guerrilla organizations formed an alliance to coordinate their political and military operations against the Soviet occupation. Late in , the mujahidin were active in and around Kabul, launching rocket attacks and conducting operations against the communist government.

The failure of the Soviet Union to win over a significant number of Afghan collaborators or to rebuild a viable Afghan army forced it to bear an increasing responsibility for fighting the resistance and for civilian administration. Soviet and popular displeasure with the Karmal regime led to its demise in May Najibullah had established a reputation for brutal efficiency during his tenure as KHAD chief.

As Prime Minister, Najibullah was ineffective and highly dependent on Soviet support. Undercut by deep-seated divisions within the PDPA, regime efforts to broaden its base of support proved futile. The Geneva Accords and Their Aftermath By the mids, the tenacious Afghan resistance movement--aided by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others--was exacting a high price from the Soviets, both militarily within Afghanistan and by souring the U.

Informal negotiations for a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan had been underway since In , the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the United States and Soviet Union serving as guarantors, signed an agreement settling the major differences between them. The agreement, known as the Geneva accords, included five major documents, which, among other things, called for U. About 14, Soviet and an estimated one million Afghan lives were lost between and the Soviet withdrawal in Significantly, the mujahidin were party neither to the negotiations nor to the agreement and, consequently, refused to accept the terms of the accords.

As a result, the civil war continued after the Soviet withdrawal, which was completed in February Najibullah's regime, though failing to win popular support, territory, or international recognition, was able to remain in power until but collapsed after the defection of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostam and his Uzbek militia in March.

However, when the victorious mujahidin entered Kabul to assume control over the city and the central government, a new round of internecine fighting began between the various militias, which had coexisted only uneasily during the Soviet occupation. With the demise of their common enemy, the militias' ethnic, clan, religious, and personality differences surfaced, and the civil war continued.

Seeking to resolve these differences, the leaders of the Peshawar-based mujahidin groups established an interim Islamic Jihad Council in mid-April to assume power in Kabul. Moderate leader Prof. Sibghatullah Mojaddedi was to chair the council for 2 months, after which a member leadership council composed of mujahidin leaders and presided over by the head of the Jamiat-i-Islami, Prof.

Burhanuddin Rabbani, was to be set up for 4 months. During this 6-month period, a Loya Jirga, or grand council of Afghan elders and notables, would convene and designate an interim administration which would hold power up to a year, pending elections.

But in May , Rabbani prematurely formed the leadership council, undermining Mojaddedi's fragile authority. Nonetheless, heavy fighting broke out in August in Kabul between forces loyal to President Rabbani and rival factions, particularly those who supported Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami. After Rabbani extended his tenure in December , fighting in the capital flared up in January and February The Islamabad Accord, signed in March , which appointed Hekmatyar as Prime Minister, failed to have a lasting effect.

A follow-up agreement, the Jalalabad Accord, called for the militias to be disarmed but was never fully implemented. On January 1, , Dostam switched sides, precipitating large-scale fighting in Kabul and in northern provinces, which caused thousands of civilian casualties in Kabul and elsewhere and created a new wave of displaced persons and refugees.

The country sank even further into anarchy, forces loyal to Rabbani and Masood, both ethnic Tajiks, controlled Kabul and much of the northeast, while local warlords exerted power over the rest of the country. Rise and Fall of the Taliban The Taliban had risen to power in the mid 90's in reaction to the anarchy and warlordism that arose after the withdrawal of Soviet forces.

Many Taliban had been educated in madrassas in Pakistan and were largely from rural southern Pashtun backgrounds. In , the Taliban developed enough strength to capture the city of Kandahar from a local warlord and proceeded to expand its control throughout Afghanistan, occupying Kabul in September The Taliban sought to impose an extreme interpretation of Islam--based upon the rural Pashtun tribal code--on the entire country and committed massive human rights violations, particularly directed against women and girls.

The Taliban also committed serious atrocities against minority populations, particularly the Shi'a Hazara ethnic group, and killed noncombatants in several well-documented instances. In , as part of a drive against relics of Afghanistan's pre-Islamic past, the Taliban destroyed two Buddha statues carved into cliff faces outside of the city of Bamiyan.

From the mids the Taliban provided sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, a Saudi national who had fought with the mujahideen resistance against the Soviets, and provide a base for his and other terrorist organizations. Bin Laden provided both financial and political support to the Taliban.

Bin Laden and his Al-Qaida group were charged with the bombing of the U. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam in , and in August the United States launched a cruise missile attack against bin Laden's terrorist camp in southeastern Afghanistan. Bin Laden and Al-Qaida have acknowledged their responsibility for the September 11, terrorist attacks against the United States.

Following the Taliban's repeated refusal to expel bin Laden and his group and end its support for international terrorism, the U. Under pressure from U. Afghan factions opposed to the Taliban met at a United Nations-sponsored conference in Bonn, Germany in December and agreed to restore stability and governance to Afghanistan--creating an interim government and establishing a process to move toward a permanent government.

The Interim Authority held power for approximately 6 months while preparing for a nationwide "Loya Jirga" Grand Council in mid-June that decided on the structure of a Transitional Authority. On October 9, , Afghanistan held its first national democratic presidential election.

Hamid Karzai was announced as the official winner on November 3 and inaugurated on December 7 for a five-year term as Afghanistan's first democratically elected president. On December 23, , President Karzai announced new cabinet appointments, naming three women as ministers. The first democratically elected National Assembly since was inaugurated on December 19, The government's authority is growing, although its ability to deliver necessary social services remains largely dependent on funds from the international donor community.

At the end of January , the international community gathered in London and renewed its political and reconstruction support for Afghanistan in the form of the Afghanistan Compact. As of November , some 40, Afghan National Army ANA soldiers had been trained along with some 60, police, including border and highway police.

Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration DDR has also helped to further establish the authority of the Afghan central government. The DDR program, after receiving 63, military personnel, stopped accepting additional candidates in June Disarmament and demobilization of all of these candidates were completed at the end of June The DIAG program is still ongoing.

In the s, Afghanistan embarked on a modest economic development program. The government founded banks; introduced paper money; established a university; expanded primary, secondary, and technical schools; and sent students abroad for education. Historically, there has been a dearth of information and reliable statistics about Afghanistan's economy. The Soviet invasion and ensuing civil war destroyed much of the country's limited infrastructure and disrupted normal patterns of economic activity. Gross domestic product had fallen substantially because of loss of labor and capital and disruption of trade and transport.

Continuing internal strife hampered both domestic efforts at reconstruction as well as international aid efforts. However, Afghanistan's economy has grown at a fast pace since the fall of the Taliban, albeit from a low base. In June , Afghanistan and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program for that focuses on maintaining macroeconomic stability, boosting growth, and reducing poverty. Afghanistan is also rebuilding its banking infrastructure, through the Da Afghanistan National Bank.

Several government-owned banks are also in the process of being privatized. Agriculture The main source of income in the country is agriculture, and during its good years, Afghanistan produces enough food and food products to provide for the people, as well as to create a surplus for export. The major food crops produced are: corn, rice, barley, wheat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. In Afghanistan, industry is also based on agriculture, and pastoral raw materials.

The major industrial crops are: cotton, tobacco, madder, castor beans, and sugar beets. Agricultural production is constrained by an almost total dependence on erratic winter snows and spring rains for water; irrigation is primitive. Relatively little use is made of machines, chemical fertilizer, or pesticides.

Overall agricultural production dramatically declined following severe drought as well as sustained fighting, instability in rural areas, and deteriorated infrastructure. The easing of the drought and the end of civil war produced the largest wheat harvest in 25 years during However, the country still needed to import an estimated one million tons of wheat to meet its requirements for the year.

Millions of Afghans, particularly in rural areas, remained dependent on food aid. Opium has become a source of cash for many Afghans, especially following the breakdown in central authority after the Soviet withdrawal, and opium-derived revenues probably constituted a major source of income for the two main factions during the civil war in the s. Opium is easy to cultivate and transport and offers a quick source of income for impoverished Afghans. Much of Afghanistan's opium production is refined into heroin and is either consumed by a growing regional addict population or exported, primarily to Western Europe.

Afghanistan has begun counter-narcotics programs, including the promotion of alternative livelihoods, public information campaigns, targeted eradication policies, interdiction of drug shipments, as well as law enforcement and justice reform programs. These programs were first implemented in late Trade and Industry Afghanistan is endowed with natural resources, including extensive deposits of natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, and precious and semiprecious stones.

Unfortunately, ongoing instability in certain areas of the country, remote and rugged terrain, and inadequate infrastructure and transportation network have made mining these resources difficult, and there have been few serious attempts to further explore or exploit them. The most important resource has been natural gas, first tapped in Ninety percent of these exports went to the Soviet Union to pay for imports and debts.

However, during the withdrawal of Soviet troops in , Afghanistan's natural gas fields were capped to prevent sabotage by the mujahidin. Restoration of gas production has been hampered by internal strife and the disruption of traditional trading relationships following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Trade in smuggled goods into Pakistan once constituted a major source of revenue for Afghan regimes, including the Taliban, and still figures as an important element in the Afghan economy, although efforts are underway to formalize this trade. Transportation In the s, the United States helped build a highway connecting Afghanistan's two largest cities. It began in Kabul and wound its way through five of the country's core provinces—skirting scores of isolated and otherwise inaccessible villages; passing through the ancient market city of Ghazni; descending through Qalat; and eventually reaching Kandahar, founded by Alexander the Great.