War in Afghanistan: A Short History of 80 Wars and Conflicts in Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier, 1839-2011

Overview

Between 1839 and 2011 there have been eighty armed clashes in Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier region. It is a very tough neighbourhood.

On average, that means a war or campaign nearly every two years. Some of them-including the three Anglo-Afghan wars, the Soviet invasion and the current war-were major conflicts involving thousands of casualties. Others have been more minor, but bloody affairs which had a significant impact on the region and its peoples. There have also ...

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Overview

Between 1839 and 2011 there have been eighty armed clashes in Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier region. It is a very tough neighbourhood.

On average, that means a war or campaign nearly every two years. Some of them-including the three Anglo-Afghan wars, the Soviet invasion and the current war-were major conflicts involving thousands of casualties. Others have been more minor, but bloody affairs which had a significant impact on the region and its peoples. There have also been some notable periods of peace, usually under a ruler supported by a strong army. Such a man was Abdur Rahman, who laid the foundations of the nation from 1880.

Of the eighty conflicts, sixty involved foreign armies attempting to impose their policies on the Afghans and related Frontier tribesmen. One style of resistance, which suited the tribal armies, involved making headlong and ferocious rushes upon the enemy in the hope of overwhelming him. Mostly, they failed. Another tactic was to barricade narrow passes and ambush or harass the enemy, but again there were more defeats than victories.

Though suffering heavy losses, tribes such as the Waziris and Afridis continued to rebel. Each time, they had to be 'pacified' and 'brought to submission' (in the language of the occupying power). However, all foreign armies that have entered Afghanistan since 1839 have been compelled to withdraw, unable to impose themselves for more than a few years upon a people who refused to be conquered.

Few books have put these conflicts into a broad perspective, and fewer include the numerous conflicts on the North-West Frontier that allow an overview of the military history of the region. This book is intended to fill that gap.

For the past four years Kevin Baker has been Lecturer and now Visiting Fellow at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781921719127
  • Publisher: Rosenberg, David Publishing Pty, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,499,710
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Foreword Peter Leahy 9

Introduction 11

Part 1 27

1 First Anglo-Afghan War, 1839-1842 28

2 Thirteen Small Wars, 1849-1859 49

3 Eight Expeditions of 'Pacification', 1860-1878 63

Part 2 73

4 Second Anglo-Afghan War, 1878-1880 74

5 The Twelve Wars of Abdur Rahman Khan, 1863-1896 93

6 Thirteen Peacekeeping Operations, 1879-1895 98

7 The Great Frontier Revolt, 1897-1898 113

8 Four Peacekeeping Operations, 1900-1915 123

Part 3 129

9 Third Anglo-Afghan War, 1919 130

10 Ten Operations, 1917-1941 137

11 The Afghan Revolt, 1924-1925 151

12 Afghan Civil War, 1928-1929 153

13 Daoud Khan's Two Coups, 1953 and 1973 156

14 The Pashtun Revolt of 1959 161

Part 4 163

15 The Saur Revolution, 1978 164

16 Nuristan Uprising, 1978-1979 169

17 The Soviet Invasion, and Resistance, 1979-1988 172

18 Afghan Civil War, 1989-1994 195

19 The Taliban Surge, 1994-2001 201

20 The Anti-Taliban War, 2001-2002 207

21 The Taliban Insurgency, 2002-2011 214

22 Concluding Comments 239

Appendix: The Eighty Wars of Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier, 1839-2009 243

Bibliography 246

Endnotes 251

Index 258

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