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070822-A-6849A-667 -- Scouts from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), pull overwatch during Operation Destined Strike while 2nd Platoon, Able Company searches a village below the Chowkay Valley in Kunar Province, Afghanistan Aug. 22.

The Geopolitical Significance of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is the world’s 42nd-largest country and has an area of 250,000 square miles.

Throughout its history, Afghanistan has been subject to intervention by external powers.

Afghanistan is a land-locked region. It borders with China, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Tajikistan.

The northern and southern portion of Afghanistan is divided by the massive Hindu Kush mountain ranges.

The Pamir Mountains to the northeast (the roof of the world) are the junction between Tajikistan, Afghanistan and China.

In the east, the passes in Suleiman mountain range like the famous Khyber Pass have provided access to the Indian subcontinent.

The country’s forbidding landscape of deserts and mountains has laid many imperial ambitions to rest.

As has the fierceless and tireless resistance of its peoples.

Additionally, Afghanistan is adjacent to Middle Eastern countries that are rich in oil and natural gas.

Having control of Afghanistan means having control of pipeline routes and energy resources.

Pipelines are important today in the same way that railway building was important in the 19th century.

They connect trading partners and influence the regional balance of power.

Afghanistan is a strategic piece of real estate in the geopolitical struggle for power and dominance in the region.

It plays a vital rule in efficiently connecting the regions and for this reason remains a geopolitical necessity for any great power.

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