By Stephen Tanner
Following the occasions of September eleven, 2001, the area was once riveted as American army energy contested the mythical warrior tradition of Afghanistan. by way of spring 2002, the United States started to draw down its forces, its venture entire: 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 novices as they've got watched international armies in centuries previous, understanding time is on their side?For over 2,500 years, the forbidding territory of Afghanistan has served as an essential 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 USA needs to face a brand new enemy in this land--a land that for hundreds of years has turn into a graveyard of empires past.This first-ever whole army background of Afghanistan illuminates the wide ancient context into which American forces were drawn--a cautionary story, probably, concerning the risks which could lie forward.
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Extra resources for Afghanistan: A Military History From Alexander The Great To The Fall Of The Taliban
Ducking beneath the missiles, shield held overhead, he reached the line of archers which immediately collapsed in terror. The rest of the Persians on the left were unable to stand against Alexander's cavalry and his following infantry. The Persian left collapsed. In the center, the elite Macedonian infantry phalanx made no headway against Darius's Greeks. They floundered in the river, their ranks ragged, while the Greek hoplite infantry easily held its position. Near the shore, Persian cavalry charged across the river and began pushing in Parmenio's troops who had little room to maneuver since Parmenio had been ordered to keep his flank against the sea.
Until that point, Alexander, like his father, had worked on a shoestring. Now the first priority was to march down the Mediterranean seacoast, eliminating the Persian fleet and any possibility that the Persians could materially assist a rebellion in Greece. After epic sieges at Tyre and Gaza, the army reached Egypt, where Alexander was greeted as a liberator and crowned pharaoh. While there he founded the city of Alexandria and made a mysterious trip through the desert to consult the oracle of Ammon, a figure the Greeks considered equivalent to Zeus.
The rest of Alexander's army, under Craterus, surrounded thirteen thousand Areians who had taken refuge on a "rocky outcrop" with sheer cliffs on its west side and a somewhat lesser gradient on the east. It was densely wooded and had a year-round spring at its summit. At first, this natural fortress defied the Macedonians. But Alexander, as Curtius said, "had a mind that constantly wrestled with problems. . " The army had been cutting trees to pile up against the steep cliffs, and during that hot August a strong west wind had dried them into tinder.