Benchmarks in the History of Afghanistan
1747 Ahmad Shah Durrani unites Pashtun tribes to form Afghanistan.
1919: Afghanistan gains independence from the British.
1820s: Josiah Harlan, "a man who would be king."
1893: The British draw the "Durand Line."
1898: Afghanistan as part of Lord Curzon's "great game."
1925: Afghanistan gains its independence from Great Britain.
1973: King Zahir deposed.
1974: Constitutional monarchy overthrown.
1978: Communist coup.
1979: Soviet occupation. Anti-Soviet jihad begins.
1982: By this time, the jihad is being funded in part by the CIA.
1986: Soviets install Najibullah as president.
1989: Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan.
1992: Najibullah ousted. The "new great game."
1994: Taliban under Mullah Omar begins vying for power. More on the Taliban.
1996: Taliban reign of terror.
1996, September: Taliban capture Kabul.
1997, July: Taliban setbacks in the north.
1997, November: U.N. presses Taliban on women's rights.
1998: Taliban bans kite flying and television.
1998, August: U.S. missile attack. Taliban massacre Shiites in Hazara.
2001, March: Taliban destroy "Bamiyan Buddhas."
2001, September: U.S. prepares to attack Afghanistan.
2001, October 21: U.S. launches war.
2001, November 13: Kabul falls and the Taliban are driven out.
2001, early December: Power struggles.
2001, December 9: Kandahar falls and Taliban are driven out.
2001, December 16: U.S. forces overrun Tora Bora.
2001: December 22: Hamid Karzai assumes power.
2002, September 5: Attempt to assassinate Hamid Karzai.
2003, August: Taliban resurgence. More on the Taliban.
2004, January: New constitution.
2004, November: Elections
2005, May 11: Riots over alleged desecration of the Qur'an.
2005, September 18: Elections (in spite of intimidation from the Taliban). More on the Taliban.
2006, March: Afghan man on trial for converting to Christianity.
2006, May: U.S. military officials begin describing Taliban resistance as an "insurgency."
2006, August: South Korean evangelical Christians expelled.
2007, Summer: Attacks from Taliban increasing.
2007, November 6: Suicide bomb attack in northern province shows spreading resurgent Taliban influence.
2008, Spring: Taliban steps up insurgency; President Karzai comes under fire for failing to deal with government corruption; Karzai threatens Pakistan.
BBC "Afghanistan in Depth"
Barnett R. Rubin, "Saving Afghanistan," Foreign Affairs, vol. 86, no. 1, Jan.-Feb., 2007.