The history of Afghanistan can be traced to over 50,000 years ago. Excavation of prehistoric sites suggests that early humans lived in northern Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago and that farming communities in Afghanistan were among the earliest in the world. … Continue reading
One would definitely wonder the possibility of a nuclear free world going by the arsenal of nuclear weapons owned by some states. It is quite astonishing that while some countries use nuclear energy to generate electricity and for useful research purposes, others tend to use it for military purposes. It is disheartening that some countries like the U.S.A, Russia, China, France and Britain parade a large arsenal of the dangerous weapon and at the same time being at the fore of the battle against nuclear non-proliferation. None of these countries have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. For fear of the unknown some countries like Iran have started moving closer to the nuclear club in the name of civilian nuclear program. One wonders why they have refused to halt the enrichment of uranium thereby paving the way for IAEA inspectors to mount surveillance cameras within the nuclear plants in Iran so that they can freely carry on with their desire to generate electricity with the energy as they claim. But the way and manner they have gone on with their nuclear ambitions leaves much to be expected than desired. Iranian leaders have repeatedly referred to the Jewish State as fake and that it would wipe them from the map. Maybe that is why the west continues to hunt Iran and would not let her go nuclear which would be dangerous for the Jewish state considering the small population of Israel. But Iran is not the only one; What about Pakistan, India, Israel and recently North Korea who have threatened to turn the South into a burning flame. Isn’t it just for South Korea to have the said weapon into to defend their selves in the event of an attack from the North? I am not here to say who should have the weapon and who should not have the weapon; but we are moving towards a very dangerous and delicate situation where the weapon would likely spread around the world making the potential of a nuclear war eminent. Are there people that the Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty was written for? Are there sacred cows who shouldn’t sign the treaty? Are there countries that are so careful with the weapon that they would not attack other countries with it? You and I know that the U.S was the first and only country to use the weapon against another state with considerable devastation for the Japanese people. Statistics has it that the U.S spends at least 1 Billion dollars to prevent a nuclear war but the same U.S spends at least 30 Billion dollars to prepare for nuclear war every year. Is it not time for the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty to be adopted by all? Can we have a nuclear free world? Let us not deceive ourselves at this juncture because the super powers see the weapon as a symbol of their strength and would do anything to keep their weapons. Is it realistic and reasonable for a few countries to terrorize others with the weapon? A nuclear free world must begin with the complete disarmament of all countries that possess the weapon irrespective of status. The double standards adopted in the implication of nuclear proliferation must come to an end. My kind opinion here is that if we must have a nuclear free would, no country should be seen to possess such weapon irrespective of how rational they claim to be.
It’s an election year in the United States and majority of Americans are looking forward to elect their leader. But at the moment two people are favored to fly the presidential flags for their various parties- Obama for the democrats and Romney for the Republicans. The major issues that would determine the victory of any candidate are the economy and job creation, rising U.S debt and how the united states intend to respond to the Iranian nuclear issue vis-à-vis Israel’s security. Other issues are the Asian pacific security, unfair trade practices by China and China’s rise, security on the Korean peninsula and global terrorism. Since President Obama took over the helm of affairs he has consistently worked to better the U.S economy and every month had witnessed the creation of thousands of jobs bringing the jobless rate to a little above 8% in January 2012. He has however not done enough to bring down the wavering U.S debt which stands at over 14 trillion dollars. Some school of thought have criticized Obama for attempting to raise the debt ceiling above what it is today to avoid the U.S defaulting on its debt. But the major problem of the Obama administration is that America during his regime has lost its AAA credit rating- a major economic indicator. However haven created the needed environment for the creation of more jobs for the unemployed Americans and haven helped the U.S recover to an extent from a blithering credit crunch, most Americas are of the opinion that Obama should do more and should have done more to better reshape the economy facing steep competition from China. On the Iranian nuclear issue, a number of sanctions have been imposed on the Islamic republic and recently an oil embargo was placed on the country to force it to stop uranium enrichment. But this sanctions however how tight and painful they have been is yet to dissuade the Iranians from the attempt to build a nuclear weapon. Today Israel is weary of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and may strike Iran in months and these are some of the problems the Obama administration has had to deal with. Obama has however made some very good moves towards the Asia pacific region by increasing U.S presence in the region to serve as a check on China. The devaluing of the Chinese currency in order to gain an unfair trade advantage over others is another issue which the Obama administration has not been able to properly tackle. On the Korean peninsula a new leadership has emerged and the denuclearization of the peninsula is not yet in sight as the Obama administration has not yet determined how to deal with the new regime. On global terrorism the Obama administration surprised the whole world when he announced the death of Osama bin laden the founder and erstwhile leader of the Al-Qaeda network on May 1st 2011. He has also been doing his best to combat the Taliban and other terrorist groups around the world. Although he has his critics, he definitely has his admirers and stands a better chance to win the presidency. Romney on the other hand is seen more as an aggressive reformer and has vowed to contain china. He is said to be tough on terror and may propose new legislation to end the U.S budget deficit. As a republican, Romney is poised to prove to majority of Americans that he does have the antidote for their economic crisis and would restore the United States to its standing in the world. Romney is seen as green when it comes to administration; at least he has not been President before. But Obama has the experience and majority of Americans believe that if given a second chance he would do better. But be that as it may the election has just begun and if nothing at the party level. As we watch the political situation unfold itself; who rules America come 2013? Would Obama or Romney rule America? Time would tell.
The Population and Settlement of Afghanistan had over the years depended heavily on the political situation at home. In the country’s first and most recent official census, conducted in 1979, a population of 15,551,358 was recorded. The population was estimated to be 32,738,376 in 2008. After two decades of war—with its casualties and refugees—any estimate is highly speculative. Demographic uncertainty will prevail until a new reliable census is taken.
Beginning with the Soviet invasion in 1979, the number of Afghan refugees outside the country escalated dramatically. As many as 3 million refugees went to Pakistan and 1.5 million to Iran. About 150,000 Afghans were able to migrate permanently to other countries, including the United States, Australia, and various European countries. Many refugees began returning to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001. Their numbers surpassed expectations, with more than 1.5 million refugees returning from Pakistan and more than 400,000 from Iran by the end of 2002. The rapid return of refugees led to a national humanitarian crisis as the government and international aid agencies struggled to provide adequate food and medical supplies. Many refugees had returned to farms and fields studded with land mines or devastated by air strikes, as well as chronic water shortages following several years of drought.
Before the Soviet-Afghan War, Afghanistan had an estimated annual population growth rate of 3.5 percent. Urban areas had a growth rate of 4.8 percent, reflecting migration to places of greater employment. In 2008 the growth rate was estimated at 2.63 percent. Afghanistan’s infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the world, with 155 deaths for every 1,000 live births. The average life expectancy is 44 years.
The population of Afghanistan is overwhelmingly rural, with about 77 percent living in rural areas in 2003. Of urban dwellers, probably about half reside in Kabul, the country’s capital and largest city. The Population and Settlement of Afghanistan indicate the vast socio-cultural heritage of the country.
The Rivers and Lakes of Afghanistan indicate the great river bodies of the country. Many of Afghanistan’s major rivers are fed by mountain streams. Most rivers in the country become only trickles during the long dry season and have large flows of water only in the spring, when the winter snow in the mountains melts rapidly. Most of the rivers end in lakes, swamps, or salt flats. The Kabul River is an exception, flowing east into Pakistan to join the Indus River, which empties into the Indian Ocean. The country’s only navigable river is the Amu Darya, on the northern border, although ferry boats can cross the deeper areas of other rivers. The Amu Darya receives water from two main tributaries, the Panj and the Vakhsh, which rise in the Pamirs. The Harīrūd River rises in central Afghanistan and flows to the west and northwest to form part of the border with Iran. Water from the Harîrûd is used to irrigate the Herāt region of Afghanistan. The long Helmand River rises in the central Hindu Kush, crosses the southwest of the country, and ends in Iran. This river is used extensively for irrigation, although a buildup of mineral salts has decreased its usefulness in watering crops.
Afghanistan’s lakes are small in size and number, but include Lake Zarkol in the Wakhan Corridor along the Tajikistan border, Shīveh in Badakhshān, and the saline Lake Istādeh-ye Moqor, located south of Ghaznī. The Hamun-i-Helmand (Sīstān Lake), which straddles the border between Afghanistan and Iran, is located in a region of wetlands and salt marshes at the end of the Helmand River. A number of hydroelectric dams have created artificial reservoirs on some of the country’s rivers. These include the Sarowbī (Sarobi) and Naghlū dams on the Kabul River east of the capital city, the Kajakī Reservoir on the Helmand River, and the Arghandāb Dam on a tributary of the Helmand near the city of Kandahar. The Rivers and Lakes of Afghanistan as described above do have some sort of link with larger ones.
Aerospace in 1973 was one that unraveled Aviation developments in Iran.
A series of articles in the authoritative journal Aviation Week & Space Technology has pointed up the growing prominence of Iran in the international aerospace market. Confronted with the waning of British naval influence in the Persian Gulf, the hostility of neighboring Iraq, and a 1,300 mi. border with the Soviet Union, the shah of Iran has decided that Allah helps those who help themselves, and Iran is helping itself to a whole arsenal full of Western weapons for use on land, at sea, and in the air.
Building on an inventory of McDonnell Douglas F-4D and F-4E fighter bombers and Northrop F-5A and F-5B fighters, the Imperial Iranian Air Force has ordered 141 Northrop F-5E Tiger 2 fighters and is ordering additional F-4′s and Lockheed C-130′s. It is also looking with interest at both the Grumman F-14 and the McDonnell Douglas F-15. In fiscal 1972, Iran passed West Germany to become the leading customer of the United States in the field of air force equipment, a position it is expected to retain for at least several more years.
The Iranian Army has ordered 489 Bell helicopters to improve its air-mobile capacity. The order includes 202 AH-1J Sea Cobra armed helicopters and 287 Huey Plus Model 214A utility helicopters. The 214A is the standard UH-1H used by the United States military, but with a considerably more powerful engine.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Navy is expanding its fleet of hovercraft, looking into hydrofoils, and shopping for a new ship-to-ship missile. The French Aérospatiale Exocet missile and the McDonnell Douglas Harpoon are both under consideration.
Iranian civil aviation is also contemplating a buying spree. Iran Air has issued letters of intent to purchase two Anglo-French Concordes and has taken an option on a third. It would also like to purchase up to three wide-body jet transports and is eyeing the Boeing 747, the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and the European A-300B Airbus.
The Iranians also hope to develop a viable domestic aeronautical industry centered on Iran Aircraft Industries, a firm in which the Iranian government and the Northrop Corporation each own a 49 percent interest, with the Imbdi Iranian Bank controlling the remaining 2 percent of the stock. The company intends to include aircraft repair, overhaul, modification, manufacturing, and assembly within the scope of its activities, while at the same time training Iranian workers to perform technologically advanced tasks.
Aerospace in 1973 with the exposure of Aviation developments in Iran showed that the country was on its way to becoming a major player in the Aerospace industry.