World Country Afghanistan
About the world country Afghanistan, its location, size, population, and who is in power.
Location: Landlocked in south central Asia, bordered by Iran, Pakistan, China, and the U.S.S.R. Size: 249,999 sq. mi. (647,497 sq. km.).
Who Really Rules: Afghanistan is in the midst of a war between a Soviet occupation army, backing a narrow leftist clique around President Babrak Karmal, and a guerrilla movement made up of diverse political and ethnic factions. The rebels receive some support from Muslim countries, China, and the U.S. The war thus far has been marked by brutality on both sides, and it is unlikely that stability will be reached for many years, even if one side achieves a military victory.
In 1978 a leftist coup, popular in urban areas, overthrew a government which had seized power earlier in the year. The new government met with opposition in many rural areas, not only because it introduced programs to distribute land and liberate women, but because it attempted to extend central government control to areas that were autonomous. Two coups among the Marxist leadership in 1979-one opposed by, and a later one carried out by, the Soviet Union-narrowed the regime's political base. The Soviets launched a full-scale invasion in December, 1979.
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