By Stephen Tanner
Following the occasions of September eleven, 2001, the realm was once riveted as American army strength contested the mythical warrior tradition of Afghanistan. by way of spring 2002, the United States started to draw down its forces, its venture comprehensive: The Afghan Taliban regime has been overthrown and the terrorists it harbored have been at the run. used to be America's effortless victory evidence of its army superiority, or have been the Afghans purely eyeing the rookies as they've got watched international armies in centuries prior, figuring out time is on their side?For over 2,500 years, the forbidding territory of Afghanistan has served as a necessary crossroads--not only for armies yet for clashes among civilizations--the Greeks, Arabs, Mongols, and Tartars, and in additional fresh instances, Britain and Russia. Now the US needs to face a brand new enemy in this land--a land that for hundreds of years has develop into a graveyard of empires past.This first-ever entire army background of Afghanistan illuminates the huge historic context into which American forces were drawn--a cautionary story, probably, in regards to the hazards which could lie forward.
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Additional info for Afghanistan: A Military History From Alexander The Great To The Fall Of The Taliban
On occasions such as in Arachosia, when there was not a large supply of invalids, Alexander generally assigned Greek troops as garrisons, not wanting to part with his elite Macedonians. Egypt's Alexandria aside, there had been little motive to establish new foundations in the midst of established populations; but both reasons for founding cities increased as the army marched farther east. The frequency of foundations increased with each stage of the march, though many did not last long. In Afghanistan and its surrounding regions, the preoccupation—almost a sport—among archaeologists of identifying Alexandrias continues to this day.
As the Macedonian flank shuddered, Darius unleashed his chariots across the enemy front. Chariots, even such as the Persians possessed, had long been considered anachronisms in the Greek world. And the Persian charioteers were on an unenviable suicide mission. Due to the speed necessary for their effectiveness, they could not be supported by troops from their own line; instead, they had to charge alone against the grim ranks of thousands of armored Macedonians. Alexander had anticipated the chariots by placing archers and javelin-men in advance of his main line, and these light troops aimed at the horses or charioteers, causing many a vehicle to halt, veer, or flip over in the open field.
And the Persian had also underestimated his foe. Among the factors that confound modern scholars when considering Alexander is that the young king was as expert in logistics and intelligence as he was courageous in battle. The Macedonians did not pour into Afghanistan headlong, but proceeded methodically, securing supplies at each step and taking advantage of the knowledge of local collaborators. It was only when battle was joined that Alexander was rash, seemingly oblivious to his own safety. In crafting his invasion, the young king was careful to the point of meticulous.