In this installment we cover the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan up until the end of the 2009 troop surge. A footnoted transcript can be found here.
On July 23rd, 2007 Mohammed Zahir Shah lay on his deathbed in Kabul. He was 92 years old and he was the last King of Afghanistan. It is with him that our story starts this week because he represents so much of the lost promise of Afghanistan. Through him we can see a faint glimmer of what the country may have been. If it were not for the coup that saw him deposed in 1973 and set the stage for the coming Soviet invasion, perhaps the subsequent decades of unending violence could have been avoided.