In the 16th century the Persian Safavid Empire in the west, the Turkic Uzbek state to the north, and the Moghul Empire of India disputed control of the area, and soon after the founding of the state of Afghanistan in 1747, Russia and Great Britain left the country as a buffer between the two empires. During the second half of the 20th century, it became an arena of conflict in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and in the 1990s, the establishment of a radical Islamist regime in Kabul threatened to make the country the base of an Islamist world revolution. Most recently, spurred on by the attacks of September 11th, American intervention brought an end to the radical Taliban regime and led to the election of President Hamid Karzai in 2004 and his reelection in 2009. The fourth edition of this work contains substantial new material to reflect the rapid changes in the region. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, an expansive bibliography, and over 1,000 cross referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, events, places, organizations, and other aspects of Afghanistan history from the earliest times to the present.
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