In the 19th century, Britain came to see Afghanistan as a valuable buffer between the Russians and the crown jewel of the British Empire: India. This led to a century-long covert proxy war for control over the country known to history as The Great Game and resulted in not one, not two, but three wars between the British Empire and the Emirate of Afghanistan. Spoiler: it didn’t end well for the British.
In the late 20th century, Afghanistan once again became the victim of a dramatic invasion (and a witness to the eventual retreat) of a major world superpower. This time, it was the Soviet Union’s turn to fail to subdue the notoriously ungovernable country, drawn in by America’s campaign to stir up “some agitated Muslims” and restore order to a politically turbulent country. Ten years later—after the CIA had engaged in the largest (acknowledged) covert operation in history and overseen the birth of Al CIAda in their attempt to “bleed” the mighty Soviet Empire to death—the CCCP’s mighty army was marching back to Moscow with their tails between their legs.
Now it’s America’s turn to suffer the same fate. Almost exactly 20 years after rolling into the country (for completely fictitious reasons and on completely spurious grounds), they are now exiting the country in disgrace. And so, from a purely historical perspective, we can say that this chaotic ending to the American Empire’s Afghanistan adventure is not unexpected.“Graveyard of Empires” Claims Another Victim – LRC Blog