Afghan history can be traced back to somewhere between 3,000 and 2,000 BC.  Its modern history, according to most, began circa 500 BC.  As with so many countries in that part of the world its history was often violent or, at best, chaotic and almost always involving religion.

The principal religion in Afghanistan is Sunni Muslim 74% of the population with Shi’a Muslims at 15%, and others (including Christians and Jews) at 10%. Internally, there has been continuing conflicts between the Pashtun Taliban and other ethnic groups and warlords, with shifting alliances occurring on a continuous basis.

Though, currently: Islamist jihadis (Taliban, al Qaeda) have been fighting against NATO and allied Afghan warlords, the internal problems have consisted of internal rivalries between Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazara over power and the interpretation of Islam’s social rules.  And, there is what many have called a global geostrategic conflict with religious undertones, involving al Qaeda (radical Sunni Islamists) against Western secularism (primarily the USA and NATO countries) and the Saudi establishment.

Complex to say the least, but clearly these conflicts have resulted through the years in an undetermined number of human casualties as well as massive financial loss and destruction of infrastructure.