According to the Food Security Risk Index 2010, released by the risk analysis and rating firm Maplecroft, which evaluates the dangers to the supply of basic food staples for 163 countries, Afghanistan is the country at greatest risk to disruption of its food supplies. The current war between NATO forces and the Taliban is the principle reason for its exposure to this risk but poverty, poor infrastructure and failing roads and telecommunications, as well as the potential for droughts and floods, also contributed to the Continue reading →
By 12 January 2011, there had been 2,228 deaths of coalition forces in Afghanistan since operations started there in 2001, and 2010 was the deadliest year so far with 711 deaths of personnel on operations. The first six months of 2010 showed a 31% increase in the number of civilian casualties over the same period in 2009, while a November 2010 UN report said that it had documented 2,412 conflict-related civilian casualties from January to October 2010 – an increase of 20% over the previous Continue reading →
The first time robots were used in ground combat occurred during the war in Afghanistan in July 2002. ‘Hermes’ was deployed ahead of US troops to search a network of caves in Qiqay, Afghanstan, which were a potential hiding place for enemy personnel and weaponry. Hermes, and the other four prototypes, Professor, Thing and Fester, are heavy enough to trigger mines (19 kg, 42 lbs), tall enough to trip booby-traps at foot level (30 cm, 1 ft) and long enough to carry 12 cameras, a Continue reading →
Sergeant Major Karl Ley (UK), of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment of the British Army, has made safe 139 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by the Taliban during a six-month tour in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and been awarded the UK George Medal. According to the medal citation, he has cleared more IEDs than any other operator in history. In one three-day period, he removed an incredible 42 bombs form a village outside the town of Grereshk. The George Medal is the second highest gallantry that Continue reading →
Afghanistan is the country with the world’s highest proportion of Muslims, with 99.7% of the population following Islam.
According to a report entitled the Afghanistan Cannabis Survey published on 31 March 2010 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Afghanistan is now the world’s main supplier of cannabis. It produces between 10,000 and 24,000 hectares every year producing an estimated 1,500 to 3,500 tons a year and production takes place in 17 of 34 provinces. Other countries have more land under cannabis cultivation, but yields are significantly higher in Afghanistan, enabling it to be the world’s most productive supplier of Continue reading →
On 9 June 2008, the world’s largest cannabis drug haul was made in Afghanistan. Worth some £225 million and weighing 237 tonnes (261.25 tons) – the approximate equivalent of 30 double-decker buses – and occupying six large trenches covering an area the size of two football pitches, the cannabis was later destroyed by Harrier fighter aircraft from the Royal Air Force’s coalition forces.
In July 2010, according to reports attributed to the Afghan Interior Minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, coalition forces seized 5.7 tonnes (6.28 tons) of heroin in what is the world’s largest haul of the drug. In addition to the heroin, 11.3 tonnes (12.46 tons) of opium and 841 kg (1854.09 lb) of hashish were also seized as well as 4.5 tonnes (4.96 tons) of ammonium chloride, which is used in turning the opium into heroin.
The largest human wheelbarrow race was achieved by 1,554 participants (777 pairs) in an event organised for Guinness World Records Day, in Armidale, NSW, Australia, on November 6, 2009. The majority of participants were school children from the region. The distance covered in the race was 50 m.
On 28 September 2006, at a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) defence ministers at Portoroz, Slovenia, the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest decision-making body, decided to approve the expansion of the International Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, thus placing responsibility on ISAF for the whole country. The expansion will increase the size of the force to 30,000 to become NATO’s largest operation and most significant politico-military responsibility in its new role since the Cold War. Its responsibilities are: to assist the Islamic Continue reading →