map of Afghanistan topography

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

I found this image [Afghan topo en.jpg] at Wikipedia while looking for details about Kafiristan after deciding to watch The Man Who Would Be King again (with Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer) to start off the new year. Given the current conditions in Afghanistan (and because I know some who are there right now), I thought it would be interesting to look at a small part of the history of that part of the world; we used the Internet to learn a bit more about it’s historical background. It makes me wonder how the current efforts there will turn out. Not since Alexander has any nation had much luck militarily in this place.

In addition to Rudyard Kipling, many authors have written about this part of the world, including Daniel Bolger (in his excellent book Feast of Bones), Lie Down with Lions by Ken Follet, Caravans by James A. Michener and In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan by Seth G. Jones. If you search for “Afghanistan” at Amazon.com you can find hundreds more books on the subject!