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Afghanistan.  The Graveyard of Empires. by poasterchild Afghanistan.  The Graveyard of Empires. by poasterchild
Please disseminate widely, thank you! This does not give permission to alter or claim credit for this re-mixed work, for which I retain all copyrights. The original illustration is in the public domain.

If you disagree with the views expressed here, please be sure to read my Policy Statement BEFORE you post: [link]


In 1842, 16,500 British and Indian troops (and some civilians), which had invaded Afghanistan as a part of the Great Game in order to contest Russian moves to dominate Central and South Asia, began a retreat from Kabul, the Afghan capital, toward Jalalabad, Pakistan.

Only one Britisher, a doctor, survived, because the Afghans wanted someone to carry a message back to the British to let them know what had happened -- and what would happen again should they dare to repeat their attempt at conquest.

In 1989, after a 10-year war in which 1 million Afghans were slaughtered by the Soviets and another 5 million became refugees from one of the bloodiest occupations anywhere at any time, the Soviet Union withdrew in ignominious defeat.

Not even the great Ghengis Khan, who invaded the country in 1219, was successful in totally pacifying the Afghans. Although he was able to place an occupation force there, he did so only by killing approximately half the indigenous population and by salting the arable land. And even those draconian tactics did not result in a successful permanent occupation.

The Obama administration has pledged to keep American troops in Afghanistan through 2024.
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:iconadam-walker:
Adam-Walker Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015   Writer
Yeah? I can see why.
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:iconsaint-tepes:
Saint-Tepes Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Obama said he will keep the troops till 2014 not 2024
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Read the fine print before you challenge me, pal.  The plan is to remove almost all of the troops by the end of next year, but that plan also calls for the maintenance of a residual force in the country until 2024.  That's probably going to be a brigade of Marines or special forces troops that could be called upon when the shit hits the fan, which it will.


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:iconbigmansini:
BigMansini Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Military success in Afghanistan would essentially be like nuking Japan in WWII. The people of this nation have strong pride and ideals and will fight til not a single one is left. Obviously there is no longer a nuclear alternative, and for Americans, Vietnam has already proven the futility of trying to change the ideals of a nation thats willing to fight til it has nothing left. It only makes the outcome for the aggressor a foolish move from the jump, and in turn makes them appear not only foolish, but a monster for the relentless slaughter as well.
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
The only outside power to subdue the Afghans was Ghengis Khan in the 13th century, and he it did by killing half of the population, and salting all of the arable land. Even then, the tenuous grasp his empire held on the Afghans slipped entirely after his death and they resumed their traditional ways. My favorite story about Afghanistan though is what happened when a column of 16,000 British troops evacuated Kabul and attempted to make it Peshawar, which is now in Pakistan. The Afghans permitted one -- that is correct, one -- man to make it, a British doctor, and they told him that the only reason they were letting him go was so that he could tell the British what had happened to the remainder of their troops.

Our interests lie in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan.
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:iconragnad:
ragnad Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013
When Sherlock Holmes first met Doctor Watson he deduced that the good Doctor recently came from Afganistan.  When trouble was expected we oft heard, "Watson, bring your gun".  Might Conan-Doyle have been suggesting that Doctor Watson was the sole survivor of the bloodiest retreat since Xenophon's march to the sea?
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Well, THAT's interesting!  
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:iconbattlefan221:
battlefan221 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
Thank holy fuck it is. The only exception here unfortunately is... it's not a graveyard to the american imperuim... it will never be.
:(
Sorry if this will butthurt anyone, i'm just stating opinions, not facts.
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:iconxopumpkinlovexo:
xoPumpkinLovexo Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012
AMEN
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:iconsupreme-commissar:
Supreme-Commissar Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is too true. We really should leave. ;(
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:iconnightbringer24:
Nightbringer24 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012
The title (as some before stated) should be 'Death of Armies' not Empires.
The British and Mongolian Empires kept going without Afghanistan. Although the British army actually learned something out of it.
My :twocents:

Although the message still make sense.
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:iconomilophile:
Omilophile Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
We're actually cooperating with their people and government, though. The others just came in and razed the place. That being said, the real reasons we are over there are less than fantastic and we need to leave. On the bright side, after ten years of war we've only lost around five or six thousand men. Even one is too many, but my point is, we're not being torn apart like the media would have us believe.
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
And it's a bargain too! Only $538 billion so far!
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:iconomilophile:
Omilophile Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012
Lol. Not really what I meant, but I did literally lol when I saw that. As I said, I was looking at the bright side. Not saying everything's okay, just saying it could be worse.

Speaking of finances, have you seen the annual budget of NASA? [link] Absolutely ridiculous.
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:iconzirobo:
Zirobo Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
When you stand on the crossroads of empires, you either prosper and eventually become destitute, or are slaughtered in droves as empires fight each other.

Such is the sad fate of the afghani people.
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:iconlogintrap:
LoginTrap Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012
The truth is that Afghanistan just a shithole that no one's need. There is literally nothing worth invasion.
It always was a pawn in world powers game.
British entered it just because they feared that Russians can past trough it to India. As soon as they realised that Russians wont, they left Afghanistan.
Russians entered it because of fear that Americans can take over Afghanistan. But Afghan socialists, whom Russians planned to support were shitty, America created Taliban and meanwhile Gorbachev started "Perestroika" in the Soviet Union. There was no reason to stay there.
Finally US forces easily took it to clean the mess created by the US government before. But Afghan democrats as shitty as socialists and country still not worth a penny.
Any invader could simply exterminate damn shithole, but every fucking one was too humane. Unlike Afghanis themselves. Nazis could did that.
When one relies on guerrilla tactic he is living his population in enemy's hands. And if enemy too concerned with human rights it works. Otherwise ethnic cleansing and several death camps would end their story.
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:iconjahisun:
Jahisun Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Really? We never invade a country for nothing. It's not about the Taliban, women, religion or other reasons the paper and politicians will tell you. This "shithole that no one needs" is loaded with untapped minerals, including gold, cobalt, iron, iron and a lot of lithium. I hate war. We should not be there. But please don't under estimate the real reason we are on that soil. There is supposedly trillions of dollars of these resources just in Afghanistan. War always is about money.
Sorry poasterchild if you do not want these kinds of comments.
But great work, keep it up!
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I trust you are not advocating genocide here. I won't permit that kind of hatred. The issue is, "what is the strategic interest of its own that the United States seeks to protect in Afghanistan?" I can think of several marginal interests, including access to mineral wealth, having yet another base of operations from which to harass and interdict the Iranians, having a base of operations on the Chinese border, etc., but I can think of no clear national strategic interest for the United States. We need to disengage and leave, now, without causing any more Afghan deaths or casualties.
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:iconlogintrap:
LoginTrap Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012
Threating China and Iran ain't bad for America right? Another strategical reason - every year Afghan heroin kills 80.000 in Russia (5 times more than Russians lost during 10 years of war). What is left from drugs not consumed in Russia goes to Europe, so USA dampening old rival for good and prevents Europe from becoming too self-confident.
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Please read my Policy Statement, here: [link]

I don't encourage this kind of "discussion" in my gallery. There are plenty of places that do. This is not one of them. You've had your say, so let's move on. Thanks.
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:iconpurplephoneixstar:
PurplePhoneixStar Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconheaddeskplz:


When many different cultures and militaries fail, I think that should teach you something.....
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:iconirrendernarr42:
irrenderNarr42 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
true.
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:iconfranck25:
Franck25 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Right, pertinent and courageous.
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:iconjennystokes:
jennystokes Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
Just brilliant.
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:iconladyrhianwriter:
LadyRhianwriter Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Russia, too, although it's more the Death of Armies sent into it via attrition and weather.
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:icondravazed:
Dravazed Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
tweeted
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Merci!
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:iconshadowcharkie:
shadowcharkie Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Student
good job!
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you.
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:icondaedor:
Daedor Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Emphasis on graveyard.

Didn't America criticize Soviet Russia's invasion of Afghanistan back in the day?
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
We did a lot more than criticize it. See a movie starring Tom Hanks called "Charlie Wilson's War." One of the points made is that we, the United States, effectively created an trained the people, the mujahedeen, who became today's Taliban.
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:icondaedor:
Daedor Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Don't you just love irony?
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:iconpoasterchild:
poasterchild Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
It is a pattern in these interventions. There's even a name for it -- "blowback." Another memorable example is the anti-Castro Cubans the CIA trained at the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and subsequently supported, who became major players in the Columbian cocaine trade, smuggling large quantities of the drug into the United States and Canada.
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:icondaedor:
Daedor Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Just all the more proof that America should stay in America.
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:iconephah:
Ephah Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The irony.
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