Boys play beneath a castle in Herat in January 1978. A few months later, in April, the government was overthrown in a coup d'état. This began a chain of events that ultimately led to Soviet intervention and a brutal civil war that continues between rival factions today. When the Russians entered the country in December 1979, many "pundits" gave the country a matter of months, noting that the desert is not conducive to a Vietnam-style guerrilla war. Recalling the fierce Afghan resistance to the British in the 19th century, I was less sure.

© 1978, 1999 Richard McGuire

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