Why is Afghanistan an imperial cemetery?

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Author: wenbolingsource: wenboling2020 (id: wenboling2020)

Boling said:

Let’s briefly talk about the geography of Afghanistan.


Under the physical and geographical conditions, there will always be some places that strategists must contend for.

For example, the Shanhaiguan Pass between Northeast China and North China, the Hangu pass between Shaanxi and Henan, and the Hedong region connecting Taiyuan and Chang’an, all witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties in the millennium history.

On the territory of the whole Eurasian continent, Afghanistan is the place that the strategists must contend for.

For thousands of years, every prosperous and powerful country on the Eurasian continent has to send troops to Afghanistan to fight with other big powers in Afghanistan if it wants to break away from the constraints of geography and enter the wider world.

Why is Afghanistan so special?

Geographically, Afghanistan is located in the middle of Eurasia, which is the center of the quadrupole, similar to Henan in China.

Such geographical conditions have made Afghanistan a political and economic transit station in Eurasia. In the ancient world without aircraft, Afghanistan is the only way for diplomatic envoys of various countries and caravans trading on the silk road.


In 1978, Afghan and Soviet archaeological teams discovered six ancient tombs in xibargan.

After scientific research, the archaeologists found that the six ancient tombs were around the 1st century BC, 2000 years ago. There are 20000 pieces of funerary objects, including Roman gold coins, Iranian gold and silver coins, Indian Ivory combs, and the arc bronze mirrors of the Han Dynasty.

In the 1st century BC, only a hundred years after Zhang Qian was sent to the western regions, the Silk Road flourished, and Afghanistan became a transit point for the two empires in Eurasia.

Inside Afghanistan, the continuous Hindu Kush mountains run from east to west, occupying most of the territory of Afghanistan. The valleys and passes between the mountains are militarily easy to defend but difficult to attack.

So Afghanistan has the attribute of a military fortress.

Any country that occupies Afghanistan can use Afghanistan as a springboard to expand its sphere of influence in the southeast and northwest. If any country cannot occupy Afghanistan, it will be blocked at home by other countries.


With such an important political, economic and military status, Afghanistan has naturally become a battleground for strategists and a weathervane for the international situation.

Modern scholars see this very clearly.

British geographer Mackinder said: “whoever controls the heart of Eurasia will control the world island. Whoever controls the world island will control the world.”

The so-called heart of the Eurasian continent is the central and Western Asia region composed of Iran, Arabia, Kazakhstan and other countries, of which the most strategic value is Afghanistan, which is located in the middle of the Eurasian continent and has great political, economic and military significance.


Such a geographical environment has led to thousands of years of Afghan history, which is a history of being invaded.

In the 6th century BC, Cyrus the great of the Persian Empire conquered Afghanistan as the eastern frontier fortress of the Empire.

200 years later, Alexander the great marched eastward to destroy the Persian Empire, and then came to Afghanistan. With Afghanistan as the fulcrum, he went north to capture Samarkand in Uzbekistan, and went south to cross the Khyber Pass to capture India, thus establishing the Alexander empire across Asia, Europe and Africa.

Later, the Huns were swept away by the Han Dynasty. They could not live on the grassland and were forced to move westward through Afghanistan. The Tang Dynasty established the Persian capital protectorate to compete with the Arab Empire. Mongolia exterminated khwarazmo, then occupied Afghanistan, and obtained the strategic fulcrum of the continuing western expedition.


In modern times, Afghanistan has changed from the intersection of the game between eastern and Western powers in Eurasia to the intersection of land power and sea power to seize world hegemony.

Afghanistan is the only way for Russia to obtain an ice free port in the Indian Ocean and establish land and sea hegemony in the Indian Ocean. If Britain wants to protect Indian cows, it must contain Russia’s southward steps. Afghanistan is also the bridgehead.

Afghanistan is struggling to survive the struggle between Britain and Russia.

After World War II, the United States replaced Britain as the representative of the world’s sea power countries, and the Soviet Union replaced Russia as the leading brother of the world’s land power countries.

So the Soviet Union managed Afghanistan for decades. In order to completely control Afghanistan, it did not hesitate to send troops to fight an aggressive war.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States fought in Afghanistan for 20 years under the pretext of the “9 / 11 incident”. Its purpose was nothing more than to take Afghanistan as a strategic fulcrum to deter China, Russia and the five stans.


Since Afghanistan is a place for military strategists, the competition among major countries must be very fierce. The regime change on its land is much faster than that in a stable region.

In short, Afghanistan cannot be occupied by any country or force for a long time.

Therefore, the forces of various countries will come to the scene after you sing. Afghanistan has the name of imperial cemetery.


For Afghanistan, the coming and going of many powerful forces have also destroyed the foundation of the country.

Some of those who entered Afghanistan with the forces of other countries took Afghanistan as a post station and moved away after a short stay, while others settled in Afghanistan.

People come and go, causing the demographic structure of modern Afghanistan to be particularly complex.

There are Pushtuns belonging to Mediterranean race, Hazara people of Turkic and Mongolian mixed race, Baluchis from Iran, who use Indo European language family in language. In addition, there are Uzbeks and Turkmen, who use the Turkic language family.

It is very difficult to govern a country with such a complex population structure.

Moreover, the ravines of Hindu Kush mountains cut these complex populations into scattered small tribes.

These tribes are very independent, and no one is in charge of them. If there is a strong enemy invading, they can temporarily unite to resist the strong enemy. If it is a temporary time of peace, these independent and scattered tribes will compete for interests.

In such a social environment, people’s concept of the state is very vague. Their natural objects of loyalty are tribes and tribal leaders.

Without the common memory of the country, the sense of national pride, or a tribal society, Afghanistan is actually an ancient country with only the name of a modern country and no modern state structure.

Such countries have no vitality, nor can they have the ability to resist aggression.

As Engels said:

“Those nations that have never had their own history, have been under the rule of other nations since they reached the initial stage, the lowest stage, of the development of civilization, or have been forced to rise to the initial stage of the development of civilization only because of the oppression of other nations, are lifeless and will never be able to achieve any independence.”

Last year, the U.S. army withdrew from Afghanistan, and the Taliban controlled all the country. However, according to historical experience and inertia, the peace in Afghanistan is probably temporarily quiet.

It is impossible for the major countries in the world to ignore such a strategic area.

When the war between Russia and Ukraine is completely over, we don’t know whether the United States and Russia will fight openly and secretly in Afghanistan, whether India will expand its influence through Afghanistan, and what is the purpose of China to help Afghanistan rebuild.

However, it is certain that Afghanistan will still be an imperial cemetery in the future. Afghanistan still has a long way to go before it can truly enter modern civilization.

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