The Afghan Wars: History in an Hour

In June 2010 America’s war in Afghanistan surpassed the Vietnam War as the longest war in America’s history. American, British and coalition forces have been fighting in Afghanistan since October 2001, a month following the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. By the end of the year the war seemed won. But a decade on the ongoing conflict seems far from over.

Today’s conflict has historical parallels – in the nineteenth century Great Britain twice invaded Afghanistan, in 1839 and 1878. Both times they had seemingly defeated the Afghan forces only to find the Afghan soldier, not knowing the meaning of defeat, fought back inflicting on the mighty British Empire humiliating retreats.

A century later, the Soviet Union, technologically and militarily superior, also discovered to its cost that the Afghan was a tenacious foe, impossible to defeat. After a decade of conflict the Soviet Union withdrew, its military reputation in tatters.

Afghanistan has been in a state of constant conflict for almost four decades. When not fighting external enemies its people have fought against each other. The Civil War of 1990 to 1996, during which the Taliban emerged, was ferocious in its intensity.

The coalition forces of today are embroiled in an equally unending war. But why are we still fighting in Afghanistan? What are the lessons of history? Who are the Taliban; who are the Mujahedeen, and why was Osama bin Laden so significant?

These, in an hour, are the Afghan Wars.

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Also available as downloadable audio and as an app for the iPhone / iPad


  • The First Anglo-Afghan War
  • The Second Anglo-Afghan War
  • The Third Anglo-Afghan War
  • The ‘Saur’ Revolution
  • The Communist Era
  • The Soviet War in Afghanistan
  • The Afghan Civil War
  • The Taliban
  • Afghanistan Under the Taliban
  • 9/11
  • The Afghanistan War
  • The Taliban Insurgency
  • The Death of Osama bin Laden

Readers’ reviews:

Easy to read concise, history of recent wars in Afghanistan. Perhaps our ex-P.M. should have read it! Explains how we and the Russians have spent a lot of time and money – not to mention lives – trying to influence this country.”

“If you are curious, and have an hour, this is perfect. Plus you cannot beat the price!”

Very succinct and interesting book on contemporary history and the current Afghan conflict would recommend to anyone interested in the current conflict and the history behind it.”

Very good coverage of the history of the wars in Afghan. Opened my eyes. Very easy to follow. Overall great book.”

“This book gives an excellent and factual account of a war that let’s be honest we’ll never ever win. I always try to rate my books and this is no exception so I rate it 10/10.”

Very well written concise version of events – easy to follow and some interesting information.” (GoodReads)