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100 People, 100 Places: The Graveyard of Empires

I just listened to the very excellent Michael Semple, an Afghan expert, talking on the BBC about what the future holds for Afghanistan as its new administration tries to unite the country.

As he says, Afghans have a very real war to fight, and the Taliban will be waiting to see how the government holds together or alternatively falls apart before it makes its next move.

While Afghanistan is still dependent on foreign funding, the International Security Assistance Force is no longer the dominant influence in the country’s future, but it’s the armed forces that still stand up to the Taliban.

A nuclear Pakistan is the main factor in the United States’ continued interested in Afghanistan.  If the Taliban were to succeed in conquering Kabul, it would destabilise Pakistan, bad news for the rest of the world.

Could this be the last chance for the country known as the graveyard of empires?


100 People, 100 Places are a series of short dispatches to complement my latest book, Dispatches from the Kabul Café (Advance Editions, 2014)