Northwest Africa to Southeast Asia

Some of the nations surrounding Afghanistan have declared their support to the U.S. Others are reluctant, fearing political upheaval and safety risks. Click on the map to see bases where U.S. troops are stationed, military air bases, refugee camps, suspected bin Laden training bases, and the area controlled by the Northern Alliance.

Click the underlined countries to learn more about them and their role in the region.
Russia, China and
  Central Asia
Israel and its neighbors
Northeast Africa
Northwest Africa
Arabian Peninsula
Southeast Asia

Features History
What is it like in Afghanistan? What languages are spoken there? What's the currency? A rundown of the country's statistics.

Afghanistan at a glance

Afghanistan has endured countless invasions by the likes of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. It is a crossroads for historic trade routes through Central Asia. It has been a pawn in superpower struggles several times over.
From the Persian conquest to the Mujahedeen

Israelis & Palestinians
While it is an over-simplification to blame Israeli-Palestinian tensions directly for the current conflict, U.S. support for Israel is cited as a major source of Islamic ire against the West. Those historic tensions now play into a volatile new world order.

A long history | Stories of war and loss | Mideast timeline [PDF]

Turbans Veils

Many have equated turbans with terrorism. But the turban is no more evil than your hat. It is an ancient piece of headgear with a history that stretches back thousands of years, multiplied through dozens of cultures.

Types of turbans: an illustrated primer

Story: Don't link turbans to terrorism
To many Western eyes, the Muslim veil is not an innocent piece of cloth. It is a symbol of women's oppression, a metaphor for Islam's inscrutability, a way of identifying those who don't share "our" values. But its meanings have changed over time. 

Types of veils: an illustrated primer
Story: Meanings have changed with politics, history


The Taliban
To foil Soviet expansionism in Afghanistan, the U.S. funded a motley band of Islamic fundamentalists in the '80s. From this movement grew the Taliban, who imposed order on much of the country — at the expense of human rights and, ultimately, the security of the West. Learn more about who they are and what they've done.

The Taliban at a glance

Inside the Taliban: How bin Laden, Afghanistan and the Taliban intersect


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