Afghanistan: The Graveyard of Empires


Naseebullah Khan
“The events we’re seeing now are, sadly, proof that no amount of military force would ever deliver a stable, united, secure Afghanistan. As known in history, it’s the graveyard of empires,” President Joe Biden The policy statement of President Biden and the pullout of the world military, economic, and political leader from Afghanistan should be a full stop for those who live in fool paradise and still believe that Afghanistan has not been a graveyard of empires. Throughout thousands of years of Afghan history, this soil has been amid the foreign clinches__owing to its strategic location and economic potential, (being the heaven of trillions of dollars of natural resources). Many foreign intruders came and went back with heavy casualties. Derius the great came in 6th century BC, Achaemenid Empire ruled in 300s BCE, Alexander in 3rd century BC, the Muria dynasty, the Persians, the Changez attack in 1221, the invasion of Tamerlane, the three Anglo_Afghan wars, the Soviet intrusion, and the recent episode of the US__all prove that Afghanistan has been ungovernable by the foreigners. They came, ruled but faced tremendous resistance, and could not be able to subjugate the people of Afghanistan and went back. The grandson of Changez was killed in battle with the Afghans, while Alexander was heavily wounded and faced the toughest war of his life. Though the foreign invaders ruled the country but had less effectiveness and control over the country. Mughal emperor Babar, who ruled much of Central Asia during his reign in the 1500s, and had invaded Afghanistan__had bitter experiences with this country and observes that” Afghanistan had not been and will never be conquered, and will never surrender to anyone”. Mr. David Isbay the author of the book “Afghanistan the graveyard of empires ” rejects the notion that Alexander the Great, the Persians, and the Mongols had occupied Afghanistan. Milton Bearden, the ex CIA officer observes that “The Khyber Pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan has witnessed the traverse of the world’s greatest Armies on campaigns of conquest and from South to Central Asia. All eventually ran into trouble in their encounters with the Afghan tribals. Mr. Ben Hopkins, expert, and historian of Afghanistan affairs and British imperialism in George Washington University says” There is a painting called Remnants of the Army, which hangs at the Tate Modern in Britain. It shows the sole survivor of Ephinstein,s force riding a bedraggled Horse bade to Jalalabad in 1842. It is this image of imperial disaster that gets seared into the imagination”. These sayings of renowned academics are polite answers to the trope of those who opine that Afghanistan is not the graveyard of empires. The question appears why the foreign trespassers have been failed in ruling Afghanistan despite heavy military strength. Many analysts observe that the complex terrain of the country, different ethnic systems, geography, harsh mountains, brutal weather, and guerrilla wars have prevented the aliens to control Afghanistan.Empire after empire and nation after nation came to Afghanistan, captured many parts of it but neither subjugated the people of Afghanistan nor administered effectively. They faced insurgencies and chaotic situations throughout their stay. The recent example of the US pullout envisages that despite the sole authority in military, economic, and political spheres, the US has failed to control and rule Afghanistan-the graveyard of empires.