Nation: How the Soviet Army Crushed Afghanistan

But rebels may find ways to fight back

When you are wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,

And the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

And go to your God like a soldier.

That was Rudyard Kipling's tribute to Afghanistan, a barren moonscape of a land at the "crossroads of the world," and to its proud and savage people. Conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. and by Genghis Khan in the 13th century A.D., Afghanistan in the Victorian era served as a buffer...

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