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This article certainly makes Afghanistan sound like a bad place to be in and a bad country to come from. The writers seem not to have an understanding attitude toward this country and its problems. A less subjective account would take into consideration several factors that help the reader to understand why peace will not break out there soon.

The article mentions that Afghanistan is a land-locked nation, and names the surrounding countries (but leaves out China). What it does not make clear is that the land has been a target for takeover throughout recorded history. Last year it was the Mongols. Who will it be next year? That fact explains a great deal about the indigenous people's reactions to outsiders -- especially outsiders who may appear to threaten conquest.

The article mentions the several ethnic groups that share this territory, but does not elaborate on the centuries long opportunities for ethnic strife and the difficulty of damping things down after all groups have accumulated long lists of past injustices.

The article mentions opium's importance to the economy of Afghanistan. It does not explain how the orchards of Afghanistan had been destroyed, how farmers had been driven to poverty, and how opium serves much the same economic function for isolated farm populations as distilled spirits functioned for isolated farm populations in other parts of the world.

Understanding some of these basic factors would enable readers more easily to see how effective policies would need to be formed. p0m 21:42, 16 July 2008 (EDT)

Isn't it weird to start the history of Afghanisatan in 1980? The place has been inhabited for at least 50,000 years, the word "Afghan" goes back to an India text from the 6th century BC and then there were three Anglo-Afghan wars in the 19th century. (Arthur Borges/Zhengzhou)

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