Khyber Pass

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pages: 580 words: 194,144

The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia by Peter Hopkirk

British Empire, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, trade route

But none of them had had to face a highly disciplined force, led and trained by European officers schooled in the most advanced defensive tactics of the day. The defenders would be fresh, well fed and regularly supplied, while the invaders would be exhausted from months of marching and hardships, short of food and ammunition, and greatly reduced in numbers. If the invader got that far, then there were two obvious points, Kinneir noted, at which he might try to cross the Indus. Were he to approach India via Kabul and the Khyber Pass, as a number of earlier invaders had, then he would most likely choose Attock. Here, he reported, the Indus was ‘of great breadth, black, rapid and interspersed with many islands, all of which may be easily defended.’ However, there were a number of fordable spots in the vicinity. Were the invader to take the more southerly route through Afghanistan, via Kandahar and that other great gateway to India, the Bolan Pass, then he would probably attempt to cross the Indus near Multan, 300 miles down river from Attock.

Even the Russians – and now Kinneir switched specifically to them – must approach India through Afghanistan, whether they set out from their new stronghold in the Caucasus or from their forward base at Orenburg, on the edge of the Kazakh Steppe. If they used the former, he warned, they could avoid having to march the length of Persia by making use of the Caspian, which they now controlled, to transport troops eastwards to its far shore. From there they could march to the Oxus, up which they could be ferried as far as Balkh, in northern Afghanistan. After crossing Afghanistan, they could approach India via the Khyber Pass. This, it will be recalled, was the route which Peter the Great had hoped to use to make contact with India’s Mogul rulers – a dream which had ended with the massacre of the Khivan expedition. Kinneir was clearly unaware of the appalling difficulties of this route, for it was not until 1873, long after his death, that a detailed account of the expedition, and the hardships which it had to overcome, was translated from the Russian.

For the artful Rafailov, whom Moorcroft held in such esteem, had successfully poisoned the minds of the senior Chinese officials against them before setting out on his own fateful journey through the passes. Moorcroft and his companions now tried to make up for lost time, leaving Leh before the letter summoning them home could reach them. In the late spring of 1824, after travelling through Kashmir and the Punjab (taking care to steer well north of Ranjit Singh’s capital, Lahore), they crossed the Indus and entered the Khyber Pass. Beyond it lay Afghanistan, and beyond that Bokhara. ·8· Death on the Oxus To take an ill-armed caravan laden with precious goods, and rumoured to be carrying gold, through the heart of Afghanistan was at the best of times a perilous undertaking. To attempt this when the country was in the grip of anarchy, and teetering on the brink of civil war, called for courage, or perhaps foolhardiness, of the highest order.


pages: 375 words: 109,675

Railways & the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India by Christian Wolmar

Beeching cuts, British Empire, collective bargaining, colonial rule, James Dyson, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, Ponzi scheme, railway mania, strikebreaker, trade route, women in the workforce

There were in fact 300 passes through the mountains of the North-West Frontier, and some particularly combative generals had wanted railways constructed up all of them. The most obvious gap in the potential defences against a hostile Afghanistan was the Khyber Pass, which was the most direct trade route between India and central Asia via Kabul, and was in fact part of the old Silk Road. As we saw in Chapter 5, several railways ran up to the Indo-Afghani border and the hope among the more optimistic hawks was that, this time, a railway could be built right into Afghanistan. A survey of the Khyber Pass in 1890 had concluded that it was impassable, but in 1901 the North Western Railway, which was a state-owned company created in 1886 by merging the various railways that were mostly in what is now Pakistan, built a line to Jamrud, the entrance to the Pass.

. … And Today Select Bibliography References Index A Note About the Author Picture Section By the same Author Copyright ILLUSTRATIONS SECTION ONE Lord Dalhousie (Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Alice Tredwell (The Institution of Mechanical Engineers) Inauguration of the East Indian Railway to Burdwan, 1855 (© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans) Construction of the railway through the ghats (The Institution of Mechanical Engineers /Mary Evans) Reversing station (Hulton Archive /Getty Images) Empress Bridge (De Agostini /Biblioteca Ambrosiana/Getty Images) Bridge collapse, 1863 (British Library Board. All Rights Reserved/ Bridgeman Images) Lahore station (© Corbis/ Getty Images) Victoria Station (SSPL /Getty Images) Bengal–Nagpur Railway worksite, 1890 (DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis / Getty Images) Khyber Pass Railway (Peter Jordan /Alamy Stock Photo) Rawalpindi station, 1910 (Mary Evans /Grenville Collins Postcard Collection) Cotton bales being loaded at Akola station in Maharastra, c. 1930 (SSPL /Getty Images) Victoria Station booking hall, c. 1930 (SSPL /Getty Images) Gandhi (Dinodia Photos /Getty Images) Nationalist protesters blockading the railway, 1945 (Universal History Archive /UIG via Getty Images) Indian refugees during the Partition of India and Pakistan, 1947 (Bettman /Getty Images) SECTION TWO Indian State Railways posters (Swim Ink 2, LLC /Corbis /Getty Images) Indian Railways logo (india view /Alamy Stock Photo) Indian railway scenes from the 1980s by Chris Gammell (Courtesy of Bernard Gambrill and Roy Dension) Locomotive on the Konkan railway (Dinodia Photos /Alamy Stock Photo) Nilgiri Mountain Railway (IndiaPictures /UIG via Getty Images) Mumbai commuter line (Pal Pillai /AFP /Getty Images) Accident at Kasara near Mumbai, September 2012 (Mahendra Parikha / Hindustan Times via Getty Images) Cement bags being transported (Prashanth Vishwanathan /Bloomberg via Getty Images) Hawkers at Agra station (Robert Nickelsberg /Photonica World /Getty Images) Crowded train in New Delhi (Manan Vatsyayana /AFP /Getty Images) Protesters at Borivli station (Prasad Gori /Hindustan Times via Getty Images) Commuters at Chennai station (Alexander Mazurkevich /Shutterstock.com) Rush hour outside Sealdah station in Kolkata (Steve Raymer /National Geographic Creative /Bridgeman Images) Pictures of the author’s trip round India, February 2016 (Courtesy of Deborah Mabey) MAPS Indian Railway Network, 1871 Indian Railway Network, pre-1947 Indian Railway Network, 2017 Great Indian Peninsula Railway, 1909 North Western State Railway, 1942 (NB: Place names on maps refer to the contemporary versions.)

These military lines, running through sparsely populated territory, barely provided any kind of service. The usual provision was for a train per week in each direction, principally with the sole purpose of providing supplies to the railways themselves. Amazingly, there would be another burst of construction in these lines during the boom time of the Indian railways in the 1920s, including the conquest of the Khyber Pass (see Chapter 8). Meanwhile, more useful railways were still being built. One successful line was the Bengal & North Western, created in 1881, which was the only significant railway that never received any government aid throughout its existence. When it was taken over by the state during the Second World War, it boasted 1,270 miles of metre-gauge track serving the area north of the River Ganges to the south of Nepal.


pages: 383 words: 118,458

The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

Anton Chekhov, British Empire, Khyber Pass, means of production, Occam's razor, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, working poor

Two incidents in Kabul stay in my mind: a visit to the Kabul Insane Asylum, where I failed to gain the release of a Canadian who had been put there by mistake (he said he didn't mind staying there as long as he had a supply of chocolate bars; it was better than going back to Canada), and, later that week, passing a Pathan tent encampment and seeing a camel suddenly collapse under a great load of wood - a moment later the Pathans pounced, dismembering and skinning the poor beast. I had no wish to stay longer in Kabul. I took a bus east, to the top of the Khyber Pass. I had a train to catch there, at Landi Kotal, for Peshawar; and I dreaded missing it, because there is only one train a week, a Sunday local called the '132-Down'. Chapter Six THE KHYBER PASS LOCAL THE KHYBER PASS on the Afghanistan side of the frontier is rockier, higher, and more dramatic than on the Pakistan side, but at Tor Kham - the border - it turns green, and for this foliage one feels enormous gratitude. It was the first continuous greenery I had seen since leaving Istanbul. It begins as lichen on the rock faces, and pale clumps of weed sprouting from crevices; then bushes and low trees the wind has twisted into a mass of elbows, and finally grassy slopes, turning leafy as one nears Peshawar.

Here, it was flat and green, the palms were high; it was probably hotter than Kabul had been, but so much green shade made it seem cool. Behind us the sun had dropped low, and the peaks of the Khyber Pass were mauve in a lilac haze so lovely it looked scented. Mr Haq said he had business here - 'I have to solve my great worry.' 'But let us meet later,' he said at Peshawar Cantonment Station. 'I will not trouble you with my problems. We will have tea and talk about matters of world interest.' Peshawar is a pretty town. I would gladly move there, settle down on a verandah, and grow old watching sunsets in the Khyber Pass. Peshawar's widely spaced mansions, all excellent examples of Anglo-Muslim Gothic, are spread along broad sleepy roads under cool trees: just the place to recover from the hideous experience of Kabul.

' - George Gissing, New Grub Street frseeeeeeeefronnnng train somewhere whistling the strength those engines have in them like big giants and the water rolling all over and out of them all sides like the end of Loves old sweet sonnnng the poor men that have to be out all the night from their wives and families in those roasting engines -James Joyce, Ulysses …the first condition of right thought is right sensation - the first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it... - T. S. Eliot, 'Rudyard Kipling' Contents 1. The 1530 - London to Paris 2. The Direct-Orient Express 3. The Van Golu ('Lake Van') Express 4. The Teheran Express 5. The Night Mail to Meshed 6. The Khyber Pass Local 7. The Khyber Mail to Lahore Junction 8. The Frontier Mail 9. The Kalka Mail for Simla 10. The Rajdhani ('Capital') Express to Bombay 11. The Delhi Mail from Jaipur 12. The Grand Trunk Express 13. The Local to Rameswaram 14. The Talaimannar Mail 15. The 16.25 from Galle 16. The Howrah Mail 17. The Mandalay Express 18. The Local to Maymyo 19. The Lashio Mail 20. The Night Express from Nong Khai 21.


The Beach by Alex Garland

David Attenborough, friendly fire, Khyber Pass, South China Sea

It had originally been cleared because a freshwater pool lay further along, and Sal had thought it could be converted to a larger substitute for the shower hut. The idea was abandoned when Cassie discovered that monkeys used the pool for drinking, and now the path was only used by people who, like me, were uncomfortable with the plastic-pitcher option in the toilet. Judging from the faces I'd passed on the path, I'd say that accounted for at least three-quarters of the camp. It was used commonly enough to have acquired a nickname — the Khyber Pass — and the regular tramping of our feet kept the weeds under control. It took me half an hour to find my way to the pool, which turned out to be a slight disappointment. As I'd picked my way through the undergrowth I'd been imagining a cool glade where I could bathe whilst watching monkeys swinging in the trees. Instead I found a muddy puddle and a cloud of flies. Flies that bit, I should add.

I didn't see you there." Bugs looked at me and smirked. It seemed to me that he was saying my apology was prurient. Gauche, next to his relaxed but frank sexuality. The prick. I held his gaze, and the smile twisted into an inane sneer, the expression he should have started with. "Don't be silly, Richard," Sal said, detaching herself from Bugs' embrace. "Where have you come from?" "I went for a walk down the Khyber Pass and found a bunch of papaya trees, then ended up here." "Papayas? How many?" "Oh, loads." "You should tell Jean, Richard. He's always interested in that sort of thing." I shrugged. "Yeah, the problem is, I doubt I could find them again. It's hard to keep your bearings in there." Bugs revived the sneer. "It takes practice." "Practice with a compass." Smirk. "I spend so much time in the trees, I suppose I've got an instinct… almost animal, man…" He pushed his wet hair back with both hands.

I don't think he was even aware we were in the tent. "That idiot." I raised my eyebrows. "Why? What did he do?" "He put a squid in one of the fishing buckets, and we chopped it up and chucked it in with everything else." "So?" "The squid was already dead when he speared it." Jed sucked in his breath sharply. "Most of the camp are sick. The bathroom hut is clogged with vomit, and you don't want to go near the Khyber Pass." "What about you?" I asked. "You seem OK." "Five or six of us are all right. I've got a few pains, but it looks like I've been lucky." "And why did Keaty spear a dead squid?" Ella narrowed her eyes. "I'd like to ask him that myself. We'd all like to ask him that." "Yeah… Where is he? In his tent?" "Maybe." "OK. Well, I'll go and see him…" I chose the right moment to leave because as I was backing out, Unhygienix sat bolt upright and vomited everywhere.


pages: 1,118 words: 309,029

The Wars of Afghanistan by Peter Tomsen

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, drone strike, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

One after another, the British-officered Pashtun militia units broke up and defected to the Afghans. The famous Khyber Rifles unit, raised from the Afridi tribe, was the first to go, its deserters joining hundreds of Pashtuns on both sides of the border attempting to capture the Khyber Pass. Further west, Waziri and Mahsud tribal militia in the Kurram and North and South Waziristan went over to the invading Afghans. The British struck back from the air, surprising the Afghans, who had never experienced an attack from that quarter. Three British bombers struck the invading tribal forces at the strategic Khyber gateway to Afghanistan. British infantry advanced from Peshawar intending to clear the Khyber Pass and move on to Jalalabad. Nadir Khan, meanwhile, crossed the border to the west with fourteen regiments and assorted Afghan tribal allies. Thousands of fierce Wazir and Mahsud tribesmen in North and South Waziristan rushed to join him as he fought through the Tochi River Valley in North Waziristan and attacked the British garrison at Thal.

Greek coins carried the faces of local Greek rulers, and Greek became a common tongue of the ruling elites throughout the region. A trove of folktales and legends about “the Great One,” orally passed down throughout middle Eurasia, survives today. Alexander is known as “Iskandar.” Afghan parents still occasionally choose Iskandar as the name for their sons—and Roxane, Alexander’s wife’s name, for daughters. Along the Afghan-Pakistani frontier, some Pashtun tribes—such as the Afridi, residing near the famed Khyber Pass—claim Greek ancestry. The Nuristanis, in Konar, who provided three hundred cavalry to Alexander’s army,5 explain that their race’s light complexion and frequent blond hair and blue eyes originate from remnants of Alexander’s army who stayed behind. The Persian tribal migrations from Central Asia into present-day Afghanistan and Iran began after Alexander the Great’s conquests and a century before the Parthians blocked Crassus’s way east.

This time, 33,000 British troops crossed into Afghanistan, igniting the second Anglo-Afghan war. Again, the British enjoyed early successes but eventual failure. Afghan ruler Sher Ali fled to the Amu Darya. The Russians rejected his appeal for assistance. Isolated, abandoned by Afghans, and in deteriorating health, Sher Ali died in February 1879. In May, the British forced his son, Yaqub Khan, to sign the Treaty of Gandamak, surrendering to the British the Khyber Pass, the Pashtun tribal areas east of the Khyber (in present-day Pakistan), plus the region north of the Bolan Pass (also in present-day Pakistan) south of Kandahar province. The Afghans agreed to British control of Afghan foreign policy and a permanent British residency in Kabul; the British, in return, promised an annual stipend to Yaqub Khan and his successors. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli publicly hailed Britain’s success in pushing the empire’s sphere of influence to the Hindu Kush watershed.33 As is so often the case involving foreign invaders of Afghanistan, Disraeli’s declaration of victory was premature.


pages: 424 words: 108,768

Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History by Lewis Dartnell

agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, clean water, Columbian Exchange, decarbonisation, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Google Earth, Khyber Pass, Malacca Straits, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pax Mongolica, peak oil, phenotype, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spice trade, supervolcano, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

A further route crossed through Ürümqi and the northern Tian Shan, making use of the Dzungarian Gate valley to pass through the mountains. After negotiating the Taklamakan desert and Tian Shan mountains, the Silk Road passed along valleys and then wove across the deserts of Central Asia–through modern-day Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan–connecting oases and trading stops like Samarkand, Bukhara, Merv and Herat. A southerly branch of the caravan network bore south to Kabul, and from there threaded through the Khyber Pass over the Hindu Kush mountains of the Western Himalayas and down into the Indus valley.18 Continuing west, the Silk Road passed south of the Caspian Sea through Persia, linking large entrepôts like Baghdad and Isfahan, and then carried on to Damascus and the ports of the eastern Mediterranean; or it turned north to the Black Sea, from where the goods were carried to Europe by ship. The exact nodes in this trans-Asian network varied over history, with consecutive empires routing the trade through their preferred cities, but this broad outline gives us a fair idea of the enormous, sprawling web of what we have come to call the ‘Silk Road’.

DISPLACED PEOPLES In the same way that the Silk Road passed through narrow corridors, valleys and mountain passes, the landscape provided convenient passageways for armed raiders to cross into the lands of civilisation. If these channels facilitated trade along the overland routes, they also made the settled societies around the Eurasian rim vulnerable to raids and conquest. India was largely protected by the great barrier of the Himalayas, but the narrow Khyber Pass through the Hindu Kush provided an entry point for invaders. China, as we saw earlier, also generally benefited from natural barriers, but its central plains were open to nomad incursions from the steppes to the north, and from the west through the Dzungarian Gate, which leads invaders along the Gansu Corridor into the heartlands of China.51 The Great Wall was built to defend China against the influx of nomads from the steppes.

But in a deeper sense, these fortifications were built along the fundamental ecological boundary between the wet, fertile lands supportive of agriculture and the dry, harsh steppes in the heart of the continent, where only pastoralists could survive. Nonetheless, China was repeatedly invaded by steppe peoples, often entering through the Dzungarian mountain pass and along the Gansu Corridor. Just as the Khyber Pass provided a point of entry into India for nomadic raiders, China was also attacked along the route of the Silk Road. The passageways of trade also facilitated invasion. On Eurasia’s western edge, Europe is vulnerable to incursions and invasions along a few major low-lying routes and highland passes that provide access to nomads from the steppes. From the western steppes, one route passes south of the Caucasus and Black Sea along Anatolia; another heads north of the Black Sea to the Carpathian Mountains, and then either north between these mountains and the Pripet Marshes, or south following the Danube Valley, both ways taking invaders into the heart of the Northern European plains.53 The Huns that challenged the Roman Empire from the fourth century AD, the Bulgars migrating into the Balkans in the seventh century, the Magyars entering the Hungarian plains in the ninth, and the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, all originally approached Europe from the steppes along these corridors.54 If the clashes between nomadic tribes and settled societies reflected the lifestyle supported by their respective habitats, the natural world and distribution of the different ecosystems also dictated the steppe nomads’ course of action after they had invaded the agrarian lands.


pages: 604 words: 177,329

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, rolodex, Silicon Valley, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

“We were the first three Arabs to arrive there to participate in relief work,” Zawahiri claims. He spent four months in Pakistan, working for the Red Crescent Society, the Islamic arm of the International Red Cross. The name Peshawar derives from a Sanskrit word meaning “city of flowers,” which it may have been during its Buddhist period, but it had long since sloughed off any refinement. The city sits at the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, the historic concourse of invading armies since the days of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, who left their genetic traces on the features of the diverse population. Peshawar was an important outpost of the British Empire, the last stop before a wilderness that stretched all the way to Moscow. When the British abandoned their cantonment in 1947, Peshawar was reduced to being a modest but unruly farming town.

Some had arrived with nothing in their pockets but a telephone number. Thanks to bin Laden’s generous subsidy, many of them settled in the suburb of Hayatabad, a neighborhood of two-story tract houses at the edge of the Tribal Areas, provided with all the modern conveniences—refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, and so on. Indeed, many of them lived more comfortably than bin Laden. Across the Khyber Pass was the war. The young Arabs who came to Peshawar prayed that their crossing would lead them to martyrdom and Paradise. As they passed the time, they traded legends about themselves, about the call that had drawn young Muslims to free their brothers in Afghanistan. In fact the war was being fought almost entirely by the Afghans themselves. Despite Azzam’s famous fatwa and bin Laden’s subsidies, there were never more than three thousand of these outsiders—who came to be known as the Arab Afghans—in the war against the Soviets, and most of them never got out of Peshawar.

Although it would take another three bloody years for the Soviets to finally extricate themselves, the presence of several thousand Arabs—and rarely more than a few hundred of them actually on the field of battle—made no real difference in the tide of affairs. Arms shipments poured into the port of Karachi. The ISI, which divvied the weapons among the Afghan commanders, needed a repository, preferably outside of Pakistan but not within the grasp of the Soviets. There is a distinctive portion of the Tribal Areas that juts into Afghanistan along a range of mountains southwest of the Khyber Pass known as the Parrot’s Beak. The northern slope of the Parrot’s Beak is called Tora Bora. The name means “black dust.” Remote and barren, the place is rich in caves made of super-hard quartz and feldspar. Bin Laden expanded the caverns and constructed new ones to serve as armories. It was here, in the warren of ammunition caves that he built for the mujahideen, that bin Laden would one day make his stand against America.


pages: 956 words: 288,981

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2011 by Steve Coll

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, centre right, colonial rule, computer age, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, index card, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce

“Our ultimate goal is the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan,” Brzezinski wrote in a Top Secret memo a week later. “Even if this is not attainable, we should make Soviet involvement as costly as possible.”31 Anti-Soviet fever swept Washington, arousing support for a new phase of close alliance between the United States and Pakistan. Together they would challenge the Soviets across the Khyber Pass, much as the British had challenged czarist Russia on the same Afghan ground a century before. Yet for the American staff left behind to work near the charred campus of the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, half a day’s drive from the Khyber, the Soviet invasion was a doubly bitter turn of events. They were shocked by Moscow’s hegemonic violence and at the same time angry that Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq would benefit.

They linked up with one of the hanged Bhutto’s sons, Murtaza, and helped him carry out hijackings of Pakistani airliners.16Zia suspected that India’s intelligence service was involved as well. If Soviet-backed communists took full control in Afghanistan, Pakistan would be sandwiched between two hostile regimes—the Soviet empire to the west and north, and India to the east. To avoid this, Zia felt he needed to carry the Afghan jihad well across the Khyber Pass, to keep the Soviets back on their heels. A war fought on Islamic principles could also help Zia shore up a political base at home and deflect appeals to Pashtun nationalism. Zia knew he would need American help, and he milked Washington for all he could. He turned down Carter’s initial offer of $400 million in aid, dismissing it as “peanuts,” and was rewarded with a $3.2 billion proposal from the Reagan administration plus permission to buy F-16 fighter jets, previously available only to NATO allies and Japan.17Yet as he loaded up his shopping cart, Zia kept his cool and his distance.

An alcoholic, Wilson abused government privileges to travel the world first class with former beauty queens who had earned such titles as Miss Sea and Ski and Miss Humble Oil. Almost accidentally (he preferred to think of it as destiny), Wilson had become enthralled by the mujahedin. Through a strange group of fervently anticommunist Texas socialites, Wilson traveled often to meet Zia and to visit the Khyber Pass overlooking Afghanistan. He had few Afghan contacts and knew very little about Afghan history or culture. He saw the mujahedin through the prism of his own whiskey-soaked romanticism, as noble savages fighting for freedom, as almost biblical figures. Wilson used his trips to the Afghan frontier in part to impress upon a succession of girlfriends how powerful he was. The former Miss Northern Hemisphere, also known as Snowflake, recalled a trip to Peshawar: It was “just very, very exciting to be in that room with those men with their huge white teeth,” and “it was very clandestine.”4 Beginning in 1984, Wilson began to force more money and more sophisticated weapons systems into the CIA’s classified Afghan budget, even when Langley wasn’t interested.


pages: 186 words: 57,798

Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, desegregation, European colonialism, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, working poor

But those who dismiss Gandhi's accomplishments because they were “only against the British” are also overlooking how ruthless and brutal British colonial rule could be. The history of British rule on the Subcontinent belies this myth, especially their treatment of the Pathans along the Hindu Kush, with its strategic Khyber Pass, where the British tried to control by fear the gateway from Afghanistan to India for a century. In 1842 the British attempted to secure the area by sending their 4,500-man Army of the Indus through the Khyber Pass. One survivor made it to Fort Jalalabad. But the British were determined to subdue the Muslim tribesmen, the Pathans, who were said to be one of the most warlike people in the world. So were—it is so easily forgotten—the British. The British sent expedition after expedition into the Pathan hills, an area known to the British colonial army around the world as “the grim.”


pages: 649 words: 172,080

Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11 by Seth G. Jones

airport security, battle of ideas, defense in depth, drone strike, Google Earth, index card, Khyber Pass, medical residency, Murray Gell-Mann, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, trade route, WikiLeaks

., 307 Kenya, U.S. embassy bombed in, 24, 47–48, 51, 52, 74, 274, 437 Khafre, 261 Khaldan training camp, 91, 124 Khaliq, Abd al-, 180 Khan, Amanullah, 181 Khan, Arafat Waheed, 22 Khan, Gultasab, 189 Khan, Majid, 103, 134–37 Khan, Mohammad Sidique, 185–90, 193, 199, 207, 209, 212–13, 223, 268, 269, 436, 442 bomb-making by, 205, 326 in discussions with Khyam, 194–95, 200–201 in Leeds underground, 194 London attacks planned by, 205 MI5’s lack of surveillance of, 198 threat by, 204 training of, 200–201, 203–4 Khan, Mohammed Qayum, 194 Khan, Tika, 187 Khan, Waqar, 436 Khartoum, 26, 29–31, 39–40 Khasadar force, 234 Khatami, Mohammad, 72 Khatchadourian, Raffi, 221 Khowst Province, 57, 77, 91, 106, 118 Khufu, 261 Khyam, Omar, 184, 194–95, 199, 200–201 MI5’s monitoring of, 195 training of, 200 Khyber Pass, 88 Khyber Pass Railway, 311 King Abdul Aziz University, 44 King’s Cross Station, 208 Kingston, Winston, 304 Kini, Talha al-, see Muhammad, Binyam Ahmed Kitab al-Siyar al-Kabir (Shaybani), 72–73 Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner (Zawahiri), 23, 45, 265 Koltuniak, Carol, 217 Konar Province, 77, 84, 428 Konrath, Jon, 217–18 “Koranic World View as It Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military, The” (Hasan), 358 Korean Peninsula, 439 Kosovo, 126, 131, 297 Kounjaa, Abdennabi, 172 Kraft, Nelson, 54 Krongard, Alvin Bernard “Buzzy,” 93 kufr, 43 Kuluna Junud, 236 Kunduz, Afghanistan, 68, 70 Kurram Agencies, 88 Kuwait, 58, 87, 93, 359 Iraq invasion of, 73 Kuwaiti, Abrar al-, 426 Kuwaiti, Abu Ahmed al-, 416, 417–18, 419, 420, 424, 426 Kuwaiti, Abu Ghayth al-, 105 Kuwaiti, Abu Harun al-, 364–65 Kuwaiti, Bushra, 426 Kuwaiti Red Crescent Hospital, 36 Lackawanna, N.Y., cell in, 129–37, 193, 339, 397 Lackawanna Steel Company, 129 Lahore, Pakistan, 92, 119, 200, 222 Lakehurst Naval Air Station, 299 Lakhvi, Zakir, 374–75 Lashkar-e-Taiba, 93, 183, 369, 370, 373–77, 384, 386, 387, 390, 415, 436 ideology of, 374 Mumbai attacks of, 183, 370, 371, 377–82, 381, 383, 387 Latif, Muhammad Mahmoud, 247 Lawrence, T.

As the plane taxied down the runway, Najibullah Zazi and his two colleagues, Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay, strained to peer through the plane’s oval windows. From the runway they could see the airport’s main terminal, a squat, rectangular building with grimy windows and a hulking crystal-blue sign outside that read PESHAWAR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. At one end of the airport a railroad line cut diagonally across the runway, a relic of the Khyber Pass Railway, the colonial-era route that zigzagged through the rugged snowcapped mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The three men had departed the day before from Newark International Airport on Qatar Airlines Flight 84.1 “Our plan,” said Zazi, “was to go to Afghanistan and fight with the Taliban.”2 Zazi, who sometimes went by Najib, was a handsome twenty-four-year old immigrant from Afghanistan living in the United States.

Headley was eleven years old at the height of the Indo-Pakistani war, which led to Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. During the hostilities, India’s air force conducted a bombing raid that hit his school.17 He may not have minded that his classes were canceled. Headley acknowledged that he was a “very bad” student. His relationship with his stepmother also had begun to deteriorate.18 At age seventeen he moved back to the United States to join his biological mother, who ran a bar called the Khyber Pass in Philadelphia. In 1985, Headley’s mother put him in charge of the bar, an odd place for a Muslim to work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Headley began to drink. He chased women and eventually started to smuggle heroin from Pakistan to the United States to make money. In 1988 he was arrested in Germany by DEA agents for heroin possession and distribution, and was sent to U.S. federal prison.19 After his release he moved to New York City and opened a video rental business in 1996, but in 1997 he was arrested again for heroin possession and distribution.20 This was a pivotal moment for Headley as a Muslim.


pages: 413 words: 128,093

On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey Into South Asia by Steve Coll

affirmative action, airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, global village, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, yellow journalism

Horns—ours, theirs, everybody’s—blasted all around. On South Asian roads, where the chance of being accidentally blind-sided is high, horn-honking is an act of courtesy. Should it ever become an Olympic event, the Indians would have a leg up for technical prowess, but the Pakistanis, who like to wire snippets from Western popular songs into their steering columns, would score well for creativity. Once, stuck at the Khyber Pass, I listened to a Pakistani truck driver push his way through a traffic jam leading into Afghanistan by using a horn that played at deafening volume the refrain from Never on Sunday. Cars and trucks peeled out of his way just so they wouldn’t have to listen to the damned tune anymore. Inside our spacious Tata cab, Singh kept his distance and projected a hard, lonely demeanor. He deferred to Vinod and myself and worried about our comfort.

They wore civilian dress, as did their shotgun-riding bodyguards. On the floor of the cab each team kept a single fully loaded assault rifle, a practice more discreet than that of some ordinary Pakistani drivers, who don’t mind dangling their weapons out the window as they overtake bothersomely sluggish cars. In this state of preparation the ISI trucks rolled slowly to Peshawar, the dusty frontier town lodged against the hills beneath the Khyber Pass, on the Afghan border. Day in and day out for nearly a decade these trucks laden with weaponry rolled to Peshawar and then came back empty to Rawalpindi following an overnight stop, during which Afghan rebels backed by the CIA and ISI unloaded the goods into unmarked Peshawar warehouses. Throughout the enterprise the trucks encountered no Soviet agents or highway bandits or saboteurs, the man who ran the program, Mohammed Yousaf, later assured me.

Kanpur, India Karachi, Pakistan Karmal, Babrak Kashmir, India; counterinsurgency campaign in ; separatist guerrilla movements in ; vote-rigging in Kathmandu, Nepal Kennedy, Robert F. Kerala, India Khala Pahar (‘Black Mountain’) Khalid (guerrilla) Khan, A. Q. Khan, Kamran; investigation of Zia ul-Haq crash ; knife attack on Khan, Mohammed Amir Mohammed (‘Suleiman’) Khanna, Ajay Khayal, Ghulam Nabi Khomeini, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khyber Pass kidnappings Kipling, Rudyard Koran Korea Kotagoda, Sri Lanka Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Tardip Kumari, Ranjana Kuwait Lai, Rajesh Kumar Lakshmi, Rama Lal, Bahwaral land ownership land reform Latin America Layec, Suleiman Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ; and political assassination; suicide attacks of life expectancy rates literacy rates Lockheed Corporation Lodhi, Maleeha London School of Economics Louis XVI (king of France) Lucknow, India McGee, Jim Maharashtra, India Mahendra (king of Nepal) Mahmudabad, India Mahule, S.


Toast by Stross, Charles

anthropic principle, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological principle, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Extropian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, gravity well, Khyber Pass, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, NP-complete, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, performance metric, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, speech recognition, strong AI, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

This, despite the residents of the community being armed with DShK heavy machine guns, rocket propelled grenade launchers, and AK-47’s. Lastly: there is no sign of the causative agent even deviating from its course, but the entire area is depopulated. Except for excarnated residue there is no sign of human habitation. In the presence of such unique indicators, we have no alternative but to conclude that the Soviet Union has violated the Dresden Agreement by deploying GOLD JULY BOOJUM in a combat mode in the Khyber Pass. There are no grounds to believe that a NATO armoured division would have fared any better than these mujahedin without nuclear support . . . Puzzle Palace Roger isn’t a soldier. He’s not much of a patriot, either: he signed up with the CIA after college, in the aftermath of the Church Commission hearings in the early seventies. The Company was out of the assassination business, just a bureaucratic engine rolling out National Security assessments: that’s fine by Roger.

Whole villages disappeared, Marsh Arabs, wiped out in the swamps of Eastern Iraq. Reports of yellow rain, people’s skin melting right off their bones. The Iranians got itchy and finally went nuclear. Trouble is, they did so two hours before that speech. Some asshole in Plotsk launched half the Uralskoye SS-20 grid—they went to launch on warning eight months ago—burning south, praise Jesus. Scratch the middle east, period—everything from the Nile to the Khyber Pass is toast. We’re still waiting for the callback on Moscow, but SAC has put the whole Peacemaker force on airborn alert. So far we’ve lost the eastern seaboard as far south as North Virginia and they’ve lost the Donbass basin and Vladivostok. Things are a mess; nobody can even agree whether we’re fighting the commies or something else. But the box at Chernobyl—Project Koschei—the doors are open, Roger.


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, land reform, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

“It could start as soon as Afghanistan’s army becomes fully functional and NATO countries, including the U.S., downsize their presence.” South of the Hindu Kush, the Durand Line, which nominally divides Afghanistan and Pakistan, remains an imaginary boundary, as evidenced by the flow of weapons northward and the flight of Afghan refugees southward during the anti-Soviet insurgency. The two countries have been linked by the Khyber Pass through centuries of conquest dating back to Alexander the Great. Smuggling and trade remain synonymous over the Khyber Pass, where today a constant stream of trucks carrying cement and fruit snakes up and down its narrow passages to Afghanistan—a supply channel that will remain necessary for decades. Pakistan is still home to approximately two million Afghans, who over the past thirty years have turned once-leafy Peshawar into a roiling, overcrowded dump of rubbish-clogged streams.

Half-baked “Peace Jirgas” to unite the tribes on either side of the border under the banner of counterterrorism only expose the futility of American, Afghan, and Pakistani government efforts to tame the tribal frontier through schemes that none of them has the competence to implement. Under intense Western pressure, Pakistan is effectively at war with itself. As far back as the fifth century B.C., Buddhist sanctuaries with marvelous stone stupas such as Taxila thrived in northern Pakistan. Today, halfway between Peshawar, at the base of the Khyber Pass, and the tidy, lattice-grid capital of Islamabad, the tribal areas feature law by jirga (tribal elder councils), and blood feuds reign. “By funding the madrasahs, the Saudi government has had more influence here than our own government, which has let the schools and homes crumble,” pointed out a chauffeur who has been shuttling between the two cities for twenty years. Even in Islamabad, the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) had long been the focal point of the city’s creeping “Talibanization” until its near-total destruction in a military raid in 2007.


pages: 618 words: 146,557

Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89 by Rodric Braithwaite

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, clean water, en.wikipedia.org, friendly fire, full employment, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, trade route, V2 rocket

If you are wounded it can take as many as six of your comrades to get you down to help, often under fire. Here even quite small numbers of determined men can hold their own against a powerful enemy column. You occupy the overlooking heights, block the front and rear of the column, and then destroy your enemy at leisure. This is what happened to the British ‘Army of the Indus’ in January 1842 on the road east from Kabul through Jalalabad to the Khyber Pass. More than a hundred years later the mujahedin would man the heights overlooking the route of the slow-moving Soviet columns, with their cumbersome lorries and their escorting tanks and personnel carriers. They would knock out the first and last vehicles with a mine or a rocket, and then systematically destroy the remainder. But if the guerrilla tactic was simple, so was the answer, at least in theory.

The Problem of Intelligence The KGB and MVD (Interior Ministry) teams were much smaller, and their prime job was to gather intelligence – to build networks of agents among the mujahedin, to study the tribal and clan relationships in their area of operations, and to discover the whereabouts of mujahedin bases, supply routes, and arms dumps. They were also given the task of hunting down and capturing – dead or alive – foreign advisers attached to the mujahedin; persuading mujahedin commanders to bring their bands over to the government side; and sowing dissension between bands so that they fought one another instead of the Russians – the tactic adopted by Rudyard Kipling’s hero on the Khyber Pass in the last chapter of Stalky & Co.18 Of course the Afghans were playing a similar game, and fed the Russians with false information to provoke operations against their own personal or tribal enemies. The KGB’s teams formed part of an organisation called Kaskad, which Andropov set up in the summer of 1980.19 It consisted of about a thousand KGB special forces officers, stationed in eight different places throughout Afghanistan.

Afghan Communist president 17, 38–40, 42, 62, 78, 103–4, 139, 148, 165, 223, 271, 276 Complains about atrocity to Brezhnev 229 Favoured by KGB 60 Inadequacies of 241 KGB brings into plan against Amin 60 Russians decide he must go 274 Secretly flown into Bagram 83 Shocked to hear Soviets intend to pull out 272 Systematically purges officers 136 Karpaty, KGB special forces unit 193 Karpenko Alexander, bard and military interpreter 193 Kartsev Lieutenant Alexander 126–7, 130, 180, 183, 238 Karzai Hamid (1957-), President of Afghanistan 139 Kaskad, KGB special forces detachment 134, 193–4 Kaskadery, ‘stuntmen’ – KGB special forces officers 134 Katichev Stanislav, senior military adviser in Herat 45 KGB Finally abandons Kabul 299 Grom special forces detachment 91, 93, 99, 116 KGB frontier post attacked in Tajikistan 306 Long experience in Afghanistan 60 Memorandum proposes action against Amin 59 Zenit special forces detachment 56–7, 68–9, 82, 91, 93–4, 98, 101, 116 KGB advisers 93 Khabarov Captain – Bitterness over futility of war 223 KhAD, Afghan secret intelligence agency 134–5, 137–9, 182–3, 194, 275, 298 Respected by KGB 202 Successfully penetrate mujahedin 139 Khaibar Mir Akbar, party ideologist, murdered 40 Khalbaev Major, commander of Muslim Battalion 56, 63, 90–91, 93 Khalil General, Afghan intelligence chief, arrested as spy 139 Khalq, faction in Afghan Communist Party 31, 38–43, 58, 60, 104, 275 Khanif, Afghan youth organiser 163 Khiva, Central Asian city 18–19, 22, 24 Khoroshavin Alexander, soldier in 860th Regiment 158 Khost. Afghan city 151, 165, 204, 213–15 Falls to mujaheddin 299 Khrushchev Nikita (1894–1971), Soviet politician 30, 33, 78, 113 Khyber Pass 129 Kipling Rudyard (1865–1936) 12, 134, 192, 227 Kirpichenko General, KGB 82, 105 Kirsanov Yuri, KGB officer, bard 193 Kiselev Yevgeni, interpreter, later TV anchorman 83, 153–4, 208 Kissinger Henry (1923–), US Secretary of State 30 kizyaki, dried dung fuel 130 Klimov Sergei, bard 193, 312 Klintsevich, Frants, veteran, politician 317–18, 327–8 Kobalt, Interior Ministry special forces unit 134–5 Kokand, Central Asian city 22 Kolesnik (Kozlov) Colonel, GRU staff officer 63, 90–94, 96, 102 Komissarov Nikolai, Komsomol youth organiser 166 Komsomol, Soviet Young Communist League 150, 152–3, 162, 165, 244, 259, 316 Komsomolskaya Pravda, newspaper 155, 189, 239, 243, 315 Konovalov Captain Yevgeni, officer in 860th Regiment 180, 300–301 Koshelev Vladimir, bard 312 Kosogovski General, Chief Interior Ministry adviser 74, 228 Kostenko General, adviser to Afghan Chief of Staff 100–101 Kosygin Aleksei (1904–80), Soviet prime minister 46–7, 49–52, 104 Tells Afghans Soviets won’t send troops 7 Kotenov Alexander, sets up veterans’ organisation 317 Kotlyarovskoe Cemetery, Moscow 317 Kovalev.


pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, jobless men, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

Everyone seemed to be staring. She was uncomfortable, and her headscarf kept slipping off, but she didn’t want to show any fear. She kept her composure, and the meetings, about an electrification project and a government proposal to move the border post, went without a hitch. On the ride back to Jalalabad, she reviewed her first day on the job: the insane helicopter ride from Kabul, the gorgeous ride down to the Khyber Pass. Not a bad first day of work. She was hooked. Parker was a natural for the role: As a woman she felt no peer pressure, no need to fit in with the “band of brothers” culture of the military. She would never be part of the boys’ club. For her, as a strong, independent woman, living alone on a military base, it was liberating to be outside the group. There was no need to pander. She could do her job without feeling as though she had to toe the military’s line.

One of the more ambitious road projects begun in the summer of 2009 was the Parwan-to-Bamyan road, a major project for the north of Afghanistan that would link the isolated highland province of Bamyan with the rest of Afghanistan, and help create an alternative northern transportation route for the country. It was of strategic importance as well. The main highway linking Afghanistan to the southern ports of Pakistan passed through the vulnerable Khyber Pass, and supply convoys passing through Pakistan had come under increased attack by militants. Bamyan Province was home to the Hazaras, Afghanistan’s most oppressed and downtrodden minority group, most of them Shia Muslims. Subjugated by the country’s Pashtun rulers and relegated to manual labor, they often worked as housemaids or night watchmen in Kabul. In their home province, they scratched out a living from subsistence farming.


Wireless by Charles Stross

anthropic principle, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Buckminster Fuller, Cepheid variable, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, cosmic microwave background, epigenetics, finite state, Georg Cantor, gravity well, hive mind, jitney, Khyber Pass, lifelogging, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, MITM: man-in-the-middle, peak oil, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, security theater, sensible shoes, Turing machine, undersea cable

This, despite the residents of the community being armed with DShK heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and AK-47s. Lastly: there is no sign of the causative agent even deviating from its course, but the entire area is depopulated. Except for excarnated residue, there is no sign of human habitation. In the presence of such unique indicators, we have no alternative but to conclude that the Soviet Union has violated the Dresden Agreement by deploying GOLD JULY BOOJUM in a combat mode in the Khyber Pass. There are no grounds to believe that a NATO armored division would have fared any better than these mujahedin without nuclear support . . . PUZZLE PALACE Roger isn’t a soldier. He’s not much of a patriot, either: he signed up with the CIA after college, in the aftermath of the Church Commission hearings in the early seventies. The Company was out of the assassination business, just a bureaucratic engine rolling out National Security assessments: that’s fine by Roger.

Whole villages disappeared, marsh Arabs, wiped out in the swamps of eastern Iraq. Reports of yellow rain, people’s skin melting right off their bones. The Iranians got itchy and finally went nuclear. Trouble is, they did so two hours before that speech. Some asshole in Plotsk launched half the Uralskaye SS-20 grid—they went to launch on warning eight months ago—burning south, praise Jesus. Scratch the Middle East, period—everything from the Nile to the Khyber Pass is toast. We’re still waiting for the callback on Moscow, but SAC has put the whole Peacemaker force on airborne alert. So far we’ve lost the Eastern Seaboard as far south as northern Virginia, and they’ve lost the Donbass Basin and Vladivostok. Things are a mess; nobody can even agree whether we’re fighting the commies or something else. But the box at Chernobyl—Project Koschei—the doors are open, Roger.


pages: 373 words: 121,086

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson

clean water, Flash crash, Khyber Pass

I think that Chief Healy and myself, in particular, were well aware of the dangers in this strife-torn country. And we realized the importance of our coming missions, to halt the ever-burgeoning influx of Taliban recruits streaming in over the high peaks of the Hindu Kush and to capture their leaders for interrogation. The seven-hour journey from Bahrain seemed endless, and we were still an hour or more south of Kabul, crawling north high above the treacherous border that leads directly to the old Khyber Pass and then to the colossal peaks and canyons of the northern Hindu Kush. After that, the mountains swerve into Tajikstan and China, later becoming the western end of the Himalayas. I was reading my guidebook, processing and digesting facts like an Agatha Christie detective. Chaman, Zhob, key entry points for the Taliban and for bin Laden’s al Qaeda as they fled the American bombs and ground troops.

I recall thinking he didn’t look much like a doctor to me, not wandering around on the edge of this mountain like a native tracker. But there was something about him. He didn’t look like a member of al Qaeda either. By now I’d seen a whole lot of Taliban warriors, and he looked nothing like any of them. There was no arrogance, no hatred in his eyes. If he hadn’t been dressed like a leading man from Murder up the Khyber Pass, he could have been an American college professor on his way to a peace rally. He lifted up his loose white shirt to show me he had no concealed gun or knife. Then he spread his arms wide in front of him, I guess the international sign for “I am here in friendship.” I had no choice but to trust him. “I need help,” I said, uttering a phrase which must have shed an especially glaring light on the obvious.


pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

Chief among them was Usama bin Laden, who would soon begin plotting the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. The physiography of Afghanistan and the country's relative location made it a receptive locale for such purposes. Nearly the size of Texas, compact in shape except the protrusion of land called the Vakhan Corridor extending eastward to touch China, mountainous in the center with countless valleys and steep-walled, strategic passes among which the Khyber Pass is the most crucial, and wedged between Shi'ite Iran to the west and Sunni Pakistan to the east, Afghanistan is the very definition of remoteness, isolation, and fragmentation (Fig. 8-1). In the east, rugged, forested terrain marks the border area with Pakistan, and in this cave-riddled topography Usama bin Laden was able to escape his pursuers, making his way (in all probability) across the border from Tora Bora and hiding on the rugged, wild, culturally closed Pakistani side.

Even the main "highway" between the national TERRORISM'S WIDENING CIRCLE 159 capital Kabul and the "southern capital" Kandahar was a potholed stretch of gravel along which robbers lay in wait. If we had a map of traffic flows in Afghanistan, we would find that more movement took place between Afghanistan's periphery and neighboring countries, for example from Herat to Iran and from Mazar-e-Sharif to Uzbekistan, than within Afghanistan itself (the heavily used Khyber Pass and other eastern passes to Pakistan would confirm this). Most of the four-fifths of the population living in the rural areas subsisted on unreliable food crops or opium-poppy cultivation. A few valleys, such as the Panjshir in the northeast, were well watered and had soils that could be depended on to yield good annual harvests, but the majority of farmers lived a difficult life of uncertain subsistence.


pages: 762 words: 246,045

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

Admiral Zheng, fixed income, Khyber Pass, land tenure, Malacca Straits, post scarcity, South China Sea, trade route

Over and over he cried these words out into the world of light, and even the words were shards of light bursting out of his mouth. The tomb became a thing of pure white light, glowing in the cool green light of the trees, the trees of green light, and the fountain poured its water of light up into the lit air, and the walls of the courtyard were bricks of light, and everything was light, pulsing lightly. He could see through the Earth, and back through time, over a Khyber Pass made of slabs of yellow light, back to the time of his birth, in the tenth day of Moharram, the day when the Imam Hosain, the only living grandson of Mohammed, had died defending the faith, and he saw that whether or not Akbar had him killed he would live on, for he had lived before many times, and was not going to be done when this life ended. 'Why should I be afraid? When did I ever lose by dying?'

Now when they camped at night they met no one at all, but bedded down in tents or under the stars, sleeping to the sound of the wind in the trees, and the clattering brooks, and the shifting horses against their harness lines. Eventually the road wound up among rocks, a flat way leading through a rockbound pass, then across a mountain meadow among the peaks, then up through another tight pass, flanked by granite battlements; and then down at last. Compared to the Khyber Pass it was not much of a struggle, Bistami thought, but many in the caravan were shivering and afraid. On the other side of the pass, rockslides had buried the old road repeatedly, and each time the road became a mere foot trail, switchbacking at sharp angles across the rockslides. These were hard going, and the Sultana often got off her horse and walked, leading her women with no tolerance for ineptitude or complaint.

Many decided to return to Frengistan, which though full of petty taifa conflict, was at least Muslim entire, its little khanates and emirates and sultanates trading between themselves most of the time, even when fighting. Such decisions as these would soon cripple Samarqand. As an endpoint in itself it was nothing, the mere edge of Dar al Islam. Nadir was worried, and the Khan in a rage. Sayyed Abdul Aziz ordered the Dzungarian Gate retaken, and an expedition sent to help defend the Khyber Pass, so that trade relations with India at the least would remain secure. Nadir, accompanied by a heavy guard, described these orders very briefly to Khalid and Iwang. He presented the problem as if it were somehow Khalid's fault. At the end of his visit, he informed them that Bahram and his wife and children were to return with Nadir to the Khanaka in Bokhara. They would be allowed to return to Samarqand only when Khalid and Iwang devised a weapon capable of defeating the Chinese.


pages: 1,800 words: 596,972

The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Farzad Bazoft, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, IFF: identification friend or foe, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, Ronald Reagan, the market place, Thomas L Friedman, Transnistria, unemployed young men, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

I pulled out my map of Afghanistan, green and yellow to the west where the deserts imprison Kandahar, brown in the centre as the mountains shoulder their way towards Kabul, a big purple-and-white bruise to the north-east where the Hindu Kush separates Pakistan, India, China and the Soviet Union. The border between British India and Afghanistan was finally laid across the tribal lands in 1893, from the Khyber Pass, south-west to the desert town of Chaman (now in Pakistan), a dustbowl frontier post at the base of a great desert of sand and grey mountains a hundred kilometres from Kandahar. These “lines in the sand,” of course, were set down by Sir Mortimer Durand and recognised by the great powers. For the people living on each side of the lines, who were typically given no say in the matter, the borders were meaningless.

The bedrooms were warm and the balconies a spy’s delight; from mine, Room 127, I could look out across all of Kabul, at the ancient Bala Hissar fort—one of the fictional Tom Graham’s last battles was fought there—and the airport. I could count the Soviet jets taking off into the afternoon sun and the explosions echoing down from the Hindu Kush and then the aircraft again as they glided back down to the runways. In wars, I only travel with those I trust. Reporters who panic don’t get second chances. Conor O’Clery of the Irish Times had talked his way up from the Khyber Pass through Jalalabad. He was already in the old telecommunications office down town, watching with an evil glint in his eye as the operator soldered the letter “w” back onto its iron stem inside the telex machine. Gavin Hewitt, a twenty-nine-year-old BBC television reporter, arrived with Steve Morris and Mike Viney, the smartest crew I’ve ever worked with, and a battered camera—these were the days of real film with its wonderful colour definition, now lost to the technology of videotape—and Geoff Hale.

And beside the highway, the Afghan men watched, their faces tight against the cold, their eyes taking in every detail of every vehicle. They looked on without emotion as the wind tugged at their orange and green shawls and gowns. The snow spread across the road and drifted at their feet. It was two degrees below zero but they had come out to watch the Soviet army convoy hum past on the great road east to the Khyber Pass. The Russian crews, their fur hats pulled down low over their foreheads, glanced down at the Afghans and smiled occasionally as their carriers splashed through the slush and ice on the mud-packed road. A kilometre further on, Soviet military police in canvas-topped jeeps waved them into a larger convoy in which more tanks and tracked armour on transporter lorries raced along the Jalalabad highway.


End the Fed by Ron Paul

affirmative action, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, tulip mania, Y2K

If nothing else, once the system brought on by the central banks becomes dysfunctional, the underground (real) economy always grows. It existed in the Soviet system as well. I recall a fascinating trip during my days as an Air Force flight surgeon. After visiting Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Ethiopia, we stopped in Turkey and Iran and then went on to Pakistan, checking up on the outposts of our empire. The senior officers located at a base near Peshawar, Pakistan, took our crew up to the Khyber Pass for a shopping trip at the Afghan border—an area that is now likely serving as the home of our current nemesis, Osama bin Laden. I remember that as we traveled through the desolate, rugged mountains the commander explained to me that, despite the lack of apparent activity, plenty of tribal natives were present in the region. When we got to the border, we could not enter Afghanistan, which, at the time, was allied with the Soviets.


pages: 188 words: 54,942

Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin

airport security, autonomous vehicles, Chelsea Manning, clean water, Clive Stafford Smith, crowdsourcing, drone strike, friendly fire, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, megacity, nuremberg principles, performance metric, private military company, Ralph Nader, WikiLeaks

When Roya’s father came home, he carefully collected all the bits and pieces of his pulverized family that he could find, buried them immediately according to Islamic tradition, and then sank into a severe state of shock. Roya became the head of her household. She bundled up her surviving sisters, grabbed her father, and fled. With no money or provisions, they trekked through the Hindu Kush, across the Khyber Pass, and into Pakistan. Once in Peshawar, the family barely survived on the one dollar a day the girls made from begging. Roya took me to their one-room adobe hut to meet her father. A tall, strong man with the calloused hands of a hard worker, he no longer works. He doesn’t even walk or talk. He just sits and stares into space. “Once in a while he smiles,” Roya whispered. Inside Afghanistan, I saw more lives destroyed by US bombs.


pages: 566 words: 144,072

In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth G. Jones

business climate, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, open borders, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, zero-sum game

The Pashtun tribes that controlled this region had resisted colonial rule with a determination virtually unparalleled in the subcontinent. The tribes were granted maximum autonomy and allowed to run their affairs in accordance with their Islamic faith, customs, and traditions. Tribal elders, known as maliks, were given special favors by the British in return for maintaining peace, keeping open important roads such as the Khyber Pass, and apprehending criminals. After partition in 1947, Pakistan continued this system of local autonomy and special favors. FIGURE 6.2 Pakistan’s Tribal Agencies Courtesy of RAND Corporation Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, laid the foundation for this independence in remarks to a tribal jirga in Peshawar in 1948: “Keeping in view your loyalty, help, assurance and declarations we ordered, as you know, the withdrawal of troops from Waziristan as a concrete and definite gesture on our part….

Several dirt roads snake through the area, but virtually none are paved. The landscape is strangely reminiscent of Frederic Remington or C. M. Russell’s paintings of the American West. Gritty layers of dust sap the life from a parched landscape. Shkin lies just south of the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s “Ballad of the King’s Jest,” which notes: When spring-time flushes the desert grass, Our kafilas wind through the Khyber Pass. Lean are the camels but fat the frails, Light are the purses but heavy the bales, As the snowbound trade of the North comes down To the market-square of Peshawur town.1 There was an Afghan National Army observation post in Shkin. Four miles away was a U.S. firebase, which that night housed fewer than a dozen Americans, including two U.S. Marines and a handful of CIA personnel. It looked like a Wild West cavalry fort, ringed with coils of razor wire.


pages: 237 words: 77,224

The Fracture Zone: My Return to the Balkans by Simon Winchester

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, borderless world, invention of movable type, Khyber Pass, mass immigration

However, about an hour out of London, as we were speeding southeastward along the M2 in Kent, Albert suddenly glimpsed the towers of Canterbury Cathedral going past in a blur on the left, and asked, in what I thought an unnecessarily querulous tone, why we weren’t stopping to have a look? I replied, with what was probably some asperity, to the effect that I was in no mood for tourism, that I was in a hurry, and that I wanted to catch the ferry and make Mons that night—for the simple reason that I planned to make India well before the middle of September. I knew that the roads in the Punjab would be tricky with postmonsoon mud; I planned to be at the Khyber Pass in three weeks’ time. Albert grunted. This was not, he muttered, going to be the pleasure trip he had imagined. It was much the same the next day in Germany, as we sped past the twin spires of Cologne Cathedral, and then again as a succession of ever prettier Bavarian villages vanished in the rearview mirror. Albert was sulking in the backseat, his mood becoming ever blacker. But I didn’t care: I now had the bit between my teeth, and though the car was going well, the roads were said to be treacherous all through Afghanistan and there might well be delays.


pages: 299 words: 89,342

The Places in Between by Rory Stewart

Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, Khyber Pass, out of africa, trade route, upwardly mobile

One of them, Mel, had become particularly devoted to Babur and spent much of each day stroking, grooming, or feeding him. After a lifetime of bread, Babur was now eating meat three times a day. He spent most of his time asleep in the garden, shaded by the vines or the mulberry trees. For an almost wild dog, he seemed to adjust quickly to domestic life. Babur and I left by car two days later, following the Kabul River through the Khyber Pass to Pakistan. The car was small, and Babur and I shared the front passenger seat, his hindquarters between my legs, his paws on my shoulder, and his dribble on my sweater. He was terrified of cars, having never seen them in his village, and he dribbled a great deal. In Pakistan, I arranged Babur's vaccinations, his vet's certificates, his enormous kennel, and his seat on the plane to Britain.


pages: 1,773 words: 486,685

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, friendly fire, Google Earth, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, sexual politics, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Afghanistan: The Perpetual Battleground The Mughals prided themselves on their direct descent from both Chinggis Khan and Timur (Tamerlane), and their official chronicles frequently noted plans to recapture Central Asia, their ancestral home; but only Shah Jahan attempted to achieve this goal. According to his historians, ‘the mighty soul of the world-subduing monarch had been bent upon’ conquering the lands ‘which were properly his hereditary domains’ ever since ‘the time of the last emperor Jahangir's death’ in 1627. Twelve years later, Mughal troops seized Qandahar in southern Afghanistan from its Safavid defenders, and the emperor and a massive entourage crossed the Khyber Pass for the first time. They spent the summer at Kabul while they prepared to conquer the lands beyond, ‘which were once included in the kingdom of his imperial ancestors’, but the Uzbeks, who had occupied the Mughal ‘homeland’ ever since expelling Shah Jahan's ancestors more than a century before, mounted such an effective defence that the emperor's ‘mighty soul’ decided to return to India.19 Then a succession dispute arose between two Uzbek rulers, one of whom appealed for Mughal assistance.

In spring 1646 Shah Jahan therefore returned to Kabul, whence a Mughal army at last crossed the Hindu Kush and occupied the fertile alluvial plain around the great trading city of Balkh. When news of this success reached the emperor, still at Kabul, he hosted a party that lasted eight days and wrote a boastful letter to the shah of Iran predicting that his troops would soon also take Timur's former capital, Samarkand. Admittedly, Shah Jahan had much to boast about. His armies had overcome remarkable logistical obstacles in crossing the Khyber Pass (3,000 feet above sea level) to Kabul, more than 800 miles from the Mughal capital, and in advancing a further 200 miles over the Salang Pass (almost 12,000 feet above sea level) to Balkh. His expeditionary force was probably the largest ever to enter the region before the Soviet invasion of 1979. Nevertheless, even at the best of times, Afghanistan lacked both the crop surpluses and the credit networks required to feed a large slow-moving army like that of Shah Jahan – and the Little Ice Age was far from the best of times.

The Central Asian ‘wolves’ now closed in and captured large numbers of Indian ‘slave sheep’ as they retreated. Many of them did eventually see Samarkand, but as slaves: prisoners from the Mughal army were so numerous that the price of Indians in the slave markets of Central Asia fell by two-thirds. It took Aurangzeb and the survivors a month to regain Kabul, arriving just in time to accompany the emperor back across the Khyber Pass.21 The Mughals’ spectacular failure encouraged Shah Abbas II of Iran to demand the return of Qandahar and, when no satisfactory answer came, in 1649 his forces recaptured the city. Shah Jahan promptly returned to Kabul, but even his official chronicler noted that at the siege of Qandahar the Mughals had brought ‘with them neither a siege train of battering guns, nor skilled artillerymen’. Therefore, when ‘grain and fodder were beginning to get scarce’ after 14 weeks, the emperor recognized that ‘the reduction of the fortress without the aid of heavy guns was impracticable’ and withdrew his troops.


pages: 681 words: 214,967

A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin

anti-communist, British Empire, colonial rule, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, trade route

Yet on 19 April the new ruler went on to assert his complete independence in external as well as internal affairs. Amanullah secretly planned an attack on British India—through the Khyber Pass—that was to coincide with an Indian nationalist uprising in Peshawar, the principal British garrison town near the frontier.2 Amanullah believed that a nationwide Indian uprising would then occur. Amanullah's army commander moved too soon, however, before the Peshawar uprising could be organized, and unwittingly alerted the British to their danger. On 3 May 1919 a detachment of Afghan troops crossed the frontier into British India at the top of the Khyber Pass. They seized control of a border village and a pumping station controlling the water supply to a nearby Indian military post. On 5 May the Governor-General of India telegraphed to London that it looked as though a war—the Third Afghan War—had started.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, business cycle, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, different worldview, double helix, Downton Abbey, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

The number of subcontractors has exploded as people want to hire experts rather than jacks-of-all-trades.9 In academia, generalists are increasingly rare, and scholarly specialization has become the new norm.10 The growth of the service economy has only served to drive the same trend, with firms likely to rent specialized services, often “consultants” assigned to a specific job, rather than bring experts on staff full-time.11 Thus, businesses are harnessing the laws of competitive advantage: because work can easily be transferred from one office to another, and from one factory floor to another across the globe, those who do particular tasks best are doing those tasks exclusively. In the early 1970s, my father did something crazy by today’s standards: he hitchhiked around the world. He was in his mid-twenties, the economy was sluggish at home, and so he set off on a freighter across the Atlantic, became a chicken farmer on an Israeli kibbutz, and eventually made his way across the Khyber Pass into Pakistan. For years, my sister and I were plied with stories from that journey, and with the tidbits of wisdom Dad had gathered at each stop along the way. The legacy of that trip spurred the inevitable: like every kid who looks up to his father, I announced one night to my parents at some point in middle school that when I came of age, I too would hitchhike around the globe. But to my surprise, far from cheering my determination, my mother’s face drained of color.


pages: 364 words: 102,225

Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi by Steve Inskeep

battle of ideas, British Empire, call centre, creative destruction, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, illegal immigration, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Kibera, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, urban planning, urban renewal

Of his home province in the far northwest, Nader said simply, “There are no job opportunities and salaries are so low.” His father and brothers had moved to Karachi long ago to find work and a better life. Then Nader came to Karachi to attend a wedding, and met a girl so attractive that he proposed to her. “Love marriage,” he told me in English, meaning it was not an arranged marriage. He’d come to the city on a train called the Khyber Mail, which rolled down from the mountains near the Khyber Pass from Afghanistan. Nader would hear that train arrive in Karachi many times in the years ahead, because he lived with his bride in an unauthorized settlement by the railroad tracks. Nader applied for a job with the Edhi Foundation, which hired him as an ambulance driver. We first met at the Edhi dispatch office on Jinnah Road; we sat inside, seeking shade on a blistering day. Nader told me that it took time to get used to the job.


pages: 796 words: 242,660

This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee

agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, failed state, financial independence, glass ceiling, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, urban decay

The three Afghan Wars (1838–42, 1878–81, 1919–1921) were examples of hopeless expectation and even imperial arrogance that were inevitable in a period when, through commitment and necessity, the British believed their superior form of warfare more than capable of imposing their authority. In this assumption, the British were wrong. For example, in the first war, only one soldier of some 16,000 troops and followers who had retreated from the capital Kabul managed to get across the Khyber Pass and home into India. The lessons of those wars was hardly heeded in 2001. Just as an interest in the poppy crop played a part in the twenty-first-century Afghan war, so it did in Victoria’s early reign. A district commissioner observed that if the locals could be encouraged to grow poppies they could raise revenue and so pay taxes desperately needed by the British. As for the poppies, they could be converted to opium and sold to the Chinese, even if the Chinese did not want the British merchants to trade the cargo in China, a nation-state already damaged by the effects of opium.

Akbar Khan promised the British that they would be able to withdraw from Afghanistan in all safety. Who would have trusted this Afghan murderer? Major General William Elphinstone was the commander who surrendered the garrison. He died almost immediately. Some 16,500 people, made up of Indian troops, British troops, wives and children, filed out of the Kabul garrison, surely with little faith in Akbar Khan’s promise of safe conduct to India. The Afghans massacred most of them on the Khyber Pass road on 13 January 1842. A very few were taken prisoner and thrown into prison at Kabul. All that was left of the British presence in Afghanistan was the garrison at Kandahar and that at Jalalabad, both under siege. General Sir George Pollock (1786–1872) was the man designated to rescue the three pockets of British survivors and their followers at Jalalabad, Kandahar and Kabul. Pollock had joined the East India Company’s army at the age of seventeen.


pages: 404 words: 113,514

Atrocity Archives by Stross, Charles

airport security, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, defense in depth, disintermediation, experimental subject, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, hypertext link, Khyber Pass, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, MITM: man-in-the-middle, NP-complete, the medium is the message, Y2K, yield curve

"Once we've inserted the initiator, dialled a yield, armed the detonators, punched in the permissive action codes, set the timer, then removed the control wires, nothing's going to stop it. Can't even open it up: someone messes with the tamper piece, it calls 'tilt' and the game's over. Y'see, we might be a Soviet Guards Motor Rifle formation that's just captured the bridge it's strapped to. Or a bunch of uglies from the backwoods behind the Khyber Pass. So, as you can understand, even conceding that letting it blow here and now might be a very bad idea, it's going to go. Unless you fancy trying your hand at dissecting a booby-trapped, ticking H-bomb, and I don't recall seeing UXB training on your résumé." He glances at his watch. "Only another fifty-seven minutes to go, lad. We can probably make it to the gate if we leave in less than half an hour, as long as there aren't too many of the blighters left outside--so I'd hurry up if I was you."


pages: 385 words: 115,697

The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

animal electricity, friendly fire, Khyber Pass, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Thomas L Friedman

Talking to Wali that day, and Mohammedi and the other Talibs, it seemed obvious enough that what lay at the foundation of the Taliban’s rule was fear, but not fear of the Taliban themselves, at least not in the beginning. No: it was fear of the past. Fear that the past would return, that it would come back in all its disaggregated fury. That the past would become the future. The beards, the burqas, the whips, the stones; anything, anything you want. Anything but the past. AT THE KHYBER PASS, I flagged down a crumpled white Lada from another age. A driver named Javed, wearing a hajj cap but no turban, took off, driving into the craters, mountains staring down. At the checkpoint, the Talibs poked and pawed and waved us through. Soon Javed tossed his hajj cap onto the dash, reached under the seat and found a cassette. He removed the tape already in the player, koranic readings, slipped in the new one and turned up the volume.


A Concise History of Modern India (Cambridge Concise Histories) by Barbara D. Metcalf, Thomas R. Metcalf

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, commoditize, demand response, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, income inequality, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, Silicon Valley, spice trade, telemarketer, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning

Dalhousie was committed, in the first place, to unifying British sovereignty both territorially and legally. And he was convinced of the importance of new networks for communications and transportation in India as well. Dalhousie’s arrival coincided with the Second Sikh War in 1848–9, which brought about the annexation of the rich, strategically critical, province of Punjab, and so extended the Raj up to the Khyber Pass. Dalhousie also reluctantly, but effectively, prosecuted a military campaign in Burma in 1852, responding primarily to commercial interests, and annexed lower Burma (as a prelude to Dufferin’s final annexation of the whole country in 1886). Under Dalhousie’s direction, the administration of the Punjab was entrusted to a coterie of like-minded officers under the strong direction of two brothers, John and Henry Lawrence.


pages: 399 words: 120,226

Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas by John S. Burnett

British Empire, cable laying ship, Dava Sobel, defense in depth, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, low earth orbit, Malacca Straits, North Sea oil, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

I copy that. The VLCC is going to cross my stern.” The pilot enters the lighted chartroom behind the bridge; he is a big man, a Singapore Indian, clad in a white safari jacket, white slacks, white shoes, and white gloves, carrying a black computer bag. He has a great white Tartar mustache and goatee, and curly silver hair rests upon his shoulders. He looks like he should be sweeping down the Khyber Pass on horseback, swinging a saber. On the darkened bridge he begins directing the flight across the busy shipping lane. “All stop!” His hand flies up with the conviction of a baseball umpire calling a runner out at the plate; we are slowing down to let the container ship pass. “Port ten,” he says, throwing his hand out to the left. He has flair. “Aye, port ten, sir.” We start the crossing just before the Singapore Bay is abreast of us, aiming at its midships.


pages: 257 words: 56,811

The Rough Guide to Toronto by Helen Lovekin, Phil Lee

airport security, British Empire, car-free, glass ceiling, global village, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, place-making, urban renewal, urban sprawl

These stained-glass windows were inserted at the end of the nineteenth century, but those of St George’s Chapel, in the southeast corner of the church, were added in 1935 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. They exhibit an enthusiastic loyalty to the British Empire that is echoed in many of the cathedral’s funerary plaques: take, for example, that of a certain Captain John Henry Gamble, who was born in Toronto in 1844 but died on active service in the Khyber Pass in 1879; his stone is in the west transept. Spare a | The St Lawrence District 60  St James Cathedral thought also for poor old William Butcher, a native of Suffolk, in England, who fell to his death from the scaffolding erected during the construction of the cathedral spire when he was just 27; his stone is in the main entrance way. The Distillery District The Distillery District (T 416/866-8687, W www.distillerytours.ca) is home to Toronto’s newest arts and entertainment complex, sited in the former Gooderham and Worts distillery, an extremely appealing industrial “village” on Mill Street, near the foot of Parliament Street.


pages: 382 words: 127,510

Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire by Simon Winchester

borderless world, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, Edmond Halley, European colonialism, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, laissez-faire capitalism, offshore financial centre, sensible shoes, South China Sea, special economic zone, the market place

It is a frantically busy place, with factories and tower blocks and hotels (most of them paid for by wealthy Hong Kong investors) rising out of the paddy fields, and restaurants jammed solid with a new Chinese élite who are making money on a scale of which Mao would never have dreamed. And then, dark on a distant hill, the first sign of a familiar Empire: the square and battlemented outline of a fort. I had seen such things on the brown ridges above the Khyber Pass, and in the Malakand Hills near Swat. Both there, and here, they looked as if they belonged on a film set for Beau Geste: they are called Mackenzie Forts, after the Bengal Governor who designed them. Elsewhere in the world they are mere relics of a British Raj; they belong now to independent governments, who use them for training, or turn them into museums, or just allow them to fall into ruin.


pages: 414 words: 128,962

The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland by Rory Stewart

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, connected car, Etonian, glass ceiling, Isaac Newton, Khyber Pass, land reform, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley

On both sides of the border were related Kurdish and Azeri peoples and I had been drinking Turkish coffee since Izmir. Then I walked through the border fence. A hundred metres into Iran, the border guard asked me what I wanted to drink. ‘Coffee,’ I said, and he laughed. ‘We only drink tea,’ he said and gave me a cup of black tea. And it was only tea for the next 800 miles. Again, precisely at the Iranian–Afghan border – a zone of a single Farsi ‘Khorasani’ culture – they began to drink green tea. At the Khyber Pass – a line which Afghanistan does not even recognise, an absurd line, scratched by Sir Mortimer Durand to mark the edge of British India, running straight through the middle of a single Pushtu tribal group, who continued to trade and intermarry; they put milk and sugar in their tea. I assumed that the Arizonan border would make my fellow passengers feel how strongly artificial borders could define national cultures, in defiance of any ‘natural facts’ of geography or historical ethnicity.


pages: 469 words: 146,487

Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World by Niall Ferguson

British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Corn Laws, European colonialism, imperial preference, income per capita, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, night-watchman state, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, profit motive, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, undersea cable, union organizing, zero-sum game

From 1879, the date of the second British attempt to invade and control Afghanistan, until the third attempt in 1919, Britain and Russia conducted the world’s first Cold War along the North-West Frontier. But the spies in this Cold War were surveyors, for whoever mapped the frontier first stood a good chance of controlling it. The Great Survey of India thus became inextricably bound up with espionage: what one of the early British frontiersmen called the ‘Great Game’. At times it really did seem like a game. British agents ventured into the uncharted territory beyond Kashmir and the Khyber Pass disguised as Buddhist monks, measuring the distances between places with the aid of worry-beads – one bead for every hundred paces – and concealing the maps they surreptitiously drew in their prayer wheels.* But this was a deadly game played in a no man’s land where the only rule was the merciless Pakhtun or ‘Pathan’ code of honour: hospitality to the stranger, but a cut throat and an interminable vendetta against all his kin if he transgressed.


One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Fick, Nathaniel C.(October 3, 2005) Hardcover by Nathaniel C. Fick

clean water, defense in depth, double helix, friendly fire, John Nash: game theory, Khyber Pass, Silicon Valley

“Yeah, and the ragtag Chechens just kicked that same army in the teeth because the Russians’ tactics and training and leadership suck. I don’t think the comparison with us stands up.” “Maybe not. I’m just saying we need to remember the history.” Patrick ran through a sketch of the foreign powers that had come to grief in Afghanistan’s mountains. “In 327 B.C., Alexander the Great comes through the Khyber Pass and gets hit by an Afghan archer’s arrow. He nearly dies. Almost a thousand years later, Genghis Khan imposes his will over this whole part of the world. Who are the only people to pry concessions from him? The Afghans. And then there’re the British. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Blair wants no part of this operation. They lost three fucking wars to these people.” Patrick flipped back through his sheaf of papers and held one up.


Strangers on a Bridge by James Donovan

Berlin Wall, Khyber Pass

(Moscow time) Francis Gary Powers, a thirty-year-old American pilot from Pound, Virginia, lifted his glider-winged “Utility 2” plane off the runway at Peshawar, Pakistan, and headed for the Soviet border. Powers had flown twenty-seven missions totaling five hundred air hours in the U-2, but the “silent overflight” across the Soviet Union was the most rigorous of all his assignments. Powers later admitted to being “scared and nervous.” A lonely and grueling flight, it began at Peshawar, a border town not far from the Khyber Pass, and was planned to end 3,788 miles later at Bodo, Norway. Almost 3,000 miles along the route was over Soviet territory. The flight was always made at upwards of 70,000 feet where the pilot would breathe only pure oxygen and every movement demanded great exertion. The flight took eight hours to complete. Called the “Black Lady of Espionage” by the Russians, the U-2 was a spy plane flown by CIA pilots.


pages: 455 words: 131,569

Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution by Richard Whittle

Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, indoor plumbing, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, precision agriculture, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Yom Kippur War

Eight days later, they were in Kabul, Afghanistan: “4 Yale Men Greeted by Afghans with Free Tea and Free Shave,” the headline said. “The Afghans are not far from Stone Age culture in some places,” the Yale men reported. “Their standard of living is the lowest the expedition has seen. But they have a pride and independence that command respect.” Three weeks later, Times readers learned that “Driving through the Khyber Pass into Pakistan was like moving into a new world, or at least a different age.” Once out of the pass, which cut through Pakistan’s ungoverned North West Frontier Province, the Yale men saw that “an amazing number of areas were set aside for specialized military training.” Even in Peshawar, a relatively modern city, “the tribesmen stroll through the streets carrying rifles,” they reported. “A glance at their long knives and war axes made it easy to believe their reputation as among the fiercest warriors in the world.”


pages: 501 words: 145,097

The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible by Simon Winchester

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, distributed generation, Donner party, estate planning, Etonian, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, James Watt: steam engine, Joi Ito, Khyber Pass, Menlo Park, plutocrats, Plutocrats, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

A device was needed, it seemed to me, that would link the achievements thematically and give the story some greater degree of structure and logic. An idea came to me one morning when I was writing a letter to a friend in China. Beginning in the mid-1970s, I had lived for many years on the far side of the world and had spent much time tramping the territories between Vladivostok and Vietnam, between Manchuria and Malaysia, and between Kashmir and the Khyber Pass. All the countries of Asia—as well as the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean—had held for centuries a philosophical view that everything and everyone can be reduced to the barest essentials, the five so-called classical elements. While the ancient Greeks revered just four elements, most other civilizations, from India eastward, nominated five. The various eastern countries in their histories have made subtle variations in just what these five elements are, but those most commonly selected are wood, earth, water, fire, and metal.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Flows become the solution to problems that frictions alone don’t solve. THE NEW GRAND TRUNK ROAD TO PAX INDICA The Grand Trunk Road is no longer the world’s most majestic road trip. The portion from Kabul to Jalalabad, while now a paved section of Afghanistan’s new highway system, has endured more than a decade of suicide bombers attacking NATO convoys. Heading east from Jalalabad through the spectacular Khyber Pass, one enters Pakistan’s restive tribal areas, where the government is struggling to build roads, power lines, and irrigation canals in a landscape beset by feudal rulers and Taliban insurgents. Another day of driving past the capital, Islamabad, and four hundred kilometers south to the cultural hub of Lahore brings you to the heavily armed Indian border at Wagah, famous for its goose-stepping daily flag-lowering ceremony.


The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux

anti-communist, Atahualpa, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Francisco Pizarro, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway

'It is an old useless train. It is worth nothing.' 'Right,' I said. The Indians nodded. It gladdened me to know that these people recognized that the train was a piece of junk. I had thought, from their silence, that they had not noticed. There were more bridges, more gorges filled with cloud and fog, but none was so frightening as that first one. And yet this part of the trip reminded me of the route through the Khyber Pass taken by the battered train to Peshawar. It was more than the view from a similarly beat-up car of rocky mountainsides; it was the sight of a dozen sections of track - ahead, across the valley, and one beneath that, and one over there, and another lying parallel, and more above and below all the way to the valley floor. Not a dozen railways, but pieces of the one we were on, sections that would lead this wheezing engine around four mountains to a descent, another bridge, another climb to the winding sections that ringed those far-off cliffs.


pages: 568 words: 162,366

The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea by Steve Levine

Berlin Wall, California gold rush, computerized trading, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, fixed income, indoor plumbing, Khyber Pass, megastructure, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, Potemkin village, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, trade route

As for Heslin, he wrote, she was “Amoco’s ambassador to the NSC,” whose “sole job, it seemed, was to carry water for an exclusive club known as the Foreign Oil Companies Group, a cover for a cartel of major petroleum companies doing business in the Caspian.” The last urgent days of the Early Oil saga played out in Azerbaijan. They began quietly enough, with the arrival in Baku of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who, as President Carter’s national security advisor, had famously ridden up Pakistan’s Khyber Pass and aimed a rifle at imagined Soviet troops. Brzezinski had since established his credentials as a balanced and serious thinker on Russia’s role in its Near Abroad, and President Aliyev saw in him a kindred spirit. Now Brzezinski was on Amoco’s payroll, representing its humanitarian efforts in Azerbaijan and Armenia. But he also was carrying a letter from Bill Clinton, reiterating the American president’s telephoned support for the dual pipelines.


Necessary Illusions by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, full employment, Howard Zinn, Khyber Pass, land reform, long peace, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, union organizing

Zbigniew Brzezinski writes that “it is scandalous that so much of the conventionally liberal community, always so ready to embrace victims of American or Israeli or any other unfashionable ’imperialism,’ is so reticent on the subject” of Afghanistan. Surely one might expect liberals in Congress or the press to desist from their ceaseless labors on behalf of the PLO and the guerrillas in El Salvador long enough to notice some Soviet crimes; perhaps they might even follow Brzezinski to the Khyber Pass to strike heroic poses there before a camera crew. Political scientist Robert Tucker writes that “numerous public figures in the West, even a number of Western governments [… have] encouraged the PLO in its maximalist course” of “winner-take-all,” that is, destruction of Israel; he too fails to cite names and references, for unsurprising reasons. One of the most audacious examples was a media triumph by journalist William Shawcross, who succeeded—easily, given the serviceability of the thought—in establishing the doctrine that there was relative silence in the West during the Pol Pot atrocities, when there was in fact a vast chorus of indignation, and that this silence was attributable to the formidable left-wing influence over media and governments that is so striking a feature of Western society.


pages: 565 words: 164,405

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

Admiral Zheng, asset allocation, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, call centre, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, domestication of the camel, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, ice-free Arctic, imperial preference, income inequality, intermodal, James Hargreaves, John Harrison: Longitude, Khyber Pass, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Port of Oakland, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, working poor, zero-sum game

It was costly enough in China; in Rome, it was yet a hundred times costlier-worth its weight in gold, so expensive that even a few ounces might consume a year of an average man's wages.5 Only the wealthiest, such as Emperor Elagabalus, could afford an entire toga made from it. The other way to Rome, the famous Silk Road, first opened up by Han emissaries in the second century of the Christian era, bumped slowly overland through central Asia. This route was far more complex, and its precise track varied widely with shifting political and military conditions, from well south of the Khyber Pass to as far north as the southern border of Siberia. Just as the sea route was dominated by Greek, Ethiopian, and Indian traders, so would be the overland "ports," the great cities of Samarkand (in present-day Uzbekistan), Isfahan (in Iran), and Herat (in Afghanistan), richly served by Jewish, Armenian, and Syrian middlemen. Who, then, could blame the Romans for thinking that silk was manufactured in two different nations-a northern one, Seres, reached by the dry route; and a southern one, Sinae, reached by water?


Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain by John Darwin

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, European colonialism, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Kowloon Walled City, land tenure, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, Scientific racism, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing

The next day, probably fearing that the British were coming to remove their weapons and disband their regiments, the sepoys struck first. Before the British could reach them from their side of the station, they killed forty-one whites – officers, civilians, women and children – and set off for Delhi. Within a matter of days – this is what astounded the British – their example was followed all over North India. From as far away as Peshawar (by the Khyber Pass), Indore to the south and Dinahpur in the east, reports began to pour in of murder and mutiny. The critical fact here was the sheer scale of the mutiny. The sepoys revolted at more than forty military stations. Altogether, perhaps, some 70,000 mutinied and a further 30,000 deserted.45 Several causes were at work to widen upheaval. There may have been a conspiracy although the evidence is lacking.46 Discontent may have been greatest in the Indian under-officers, the subadars and jemadars, whose hold over their men, whom they often recruited from neighbours and kin, was usually much greater than that of the officers.


Inside British Intelligence by Gordon Thomas

active measures, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, job satisfaction, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, lateral thinking, license plate recognition, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

By November 2008, their inquiries had spread to Washington, Cairo, and Tel Aviv. 9 Partition to Perdu On one of those bright summer mornings in July 1969, which Londoners said compensated for the delays on the Underground as it shuddered and swayed beneath the capital, among the underground passengers was Stella Rimington. In her striped Indian silk blouse and fashionable miniskirt, which showed off her tanned legs, with her long hair coiled into a bun beneath her pillbox hat, she looked ten years younger than her thirty-four. She was about to start on a new journey, very different from the one she had recently completed to the top of the Khyber Pass, looking toward the towering peaks of the Himalayas. Then, she had been filled with a sudden feeling of uncertainty, because she was leaving India. Would she be successful in holding down a permanent job with MI5 in London—not as a secretary but as a spy catcher? Her enemy, as in India, would be Soviet spies, only instead of typing up reports of their activities for her MI5 boss in Delhi, she would be on the first rung of tracking them down herself.


pages: 699 words: 192,704

Heaven's Command (Pax Britannica) by Jan Morris

British Empire, Cape to Cairo, centralized clearinghouse, Corn Laws, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, Magellanic Cloud, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, trade route

., 3 Kampala, Uganda, 1, 2 Kandahar, Afghanistan, 1 Kano, 1 Kanpur, see Cawnpore Karachi, 1, 2 Karagwe, 1 Karikari, Kofi, 1, 2, 3 Kashmir, 1 Katmandu, 1 Kavanagh, Henry, 1 Kaye, Sir John William, 1, 2n., 3, 4, 5, 6 Kazeh, 1 and n., 2 Keane, General, 1, 2 Kelat, Afghanistan, 1 Kenmare, Ireland, 1 Kennedy, John, 1 Kenya, 1 Kerefe, Sierra Leone, 1n. Kew Gardens, London, 1, 2 Khartoum, 1, 2 Khyber Pass, 1, 2 Kiepert, Dr, 1 Kilkenny, Ireland, 1, 2 Kilmainham Treaty, 1, 2 King, Dick, 1 Kingsley, Charles, 1 Kingston, Jamaica, 1, 2 Kipling, Rudyard, 1 Kirkwall, Lord, 1 Kitchener, Lord, 1, 2 Knibb, Rev. William, 1and n., 2 Knock Fryrish, Easter Ross, 1 Knollys, Henry, 1 Knutsford, Lord, 1 Knysna Heads, 1 Koh-i-Nor, 1, 2, 3 Kohl, Johan Georg, 1 Kruger, Paul, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Kumasi, Ashanti, 1, 2, 3, 4 Kurnaul, India, 1 Kythera, 1 Lachine, Canada, 1, 2, 3, 4 Laing’s Nek, Transvaal, 1 Lalor, Fintan, 1 Landor, Walter Savage, 1 Landseer, Sir Edwin, 1 Lanney, ‘King Bill’, 1 Launceston, Tasmania, 1 Lawrence, George, 1, 2, 3 Lawrence, Sir Henry, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Lawrence, John, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Lear, Edward, 1, 2, 3 Lesseps, Ferdinand de, 1, 2, 3 Levkas, 1, 2 Levuka, Fiji, 1 Liberia, 1 Libreville, 1 Lightfoot, Hannah, 1n.


The Secret World: A History of Intelligence by Christopher Andrew

active measures, Admiral Zheng, airport security, anti-communist, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, Francisco Pizarro, Google Earth, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, éminence grise

Russia, he believed, had superb intelligence from the court of Sher Ali: while ‘the Government of India is dependent on the merest guesswork for what is happening in the mind of Sher Ali, the Russian Cabinet know every rupee that we give him and almost every word that we write or talk about him’.61 When Sher Ali received a Russian mission at Kabul while turning back a mission sent by Lytton at the Khyber Pass in September 1878, Great Britain’s prestige as a great power, as well as the security of India, was thought to be at stake, and a show of force necessary to demonstrate to the Russians Great Britain’s will and ability to protect her sphere of influence, and to the Amir that he could have no allies but the Government of India. Lytton was confident that Sher Ali would be ‘brought to heel’, quickly and cheaply.62 As with the expedition against the Jowakis, Lytton was confident that the strength of the Indian Army would more than compensate for the lack of intelligence.

.* The Second Afghan War ended in a British victory and the emergence of a new imperial hero, General (later Field Marshal Lord) ‘Bobs’ Roberts, who avenged the defeat at Marwand by reconquering Kabul. But it was a pyrrhic victory. There was no successor to Cavagnari. Britain had to accept as Amir Abdur Rahman, who they knew had spent eleven years in exile under Russian protection in Tashkent but about whom they otherwise had little intelligence. Though Abdur Rahman ceded the Khyber Pass to the Raj, he refused to accept a British resident at Kabul. Despite recurrent fears to the contrary, however, a mixture of bribes, threats and promises of support against its neighbours kept Afghanistan out of the orbit of Russia and within that of India. By far the most successful intelligence service inside Afghanistan was that of Abdur Rahman, whose hold on power was reinforced by what Sir Rodric Braithwaite calls ‘a ruthless and omnipresent secret police’.68 ‘The Iron Amir’, as he became unaffectionately known, crushed two major rebellions and killed approximately 100,000 of his own subjects.69 By the 1880s the practice of diplomacy had been profoundly changed by increasing use of the telegraph.


pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, endogenous growth, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Although lineages remained important forms of social organization, there was an inverse correlation between the power of the state and the power of kinship groups: when one got stronger, the other got weaker. Ultimately, it was the state that decisively shaped Chinese civilization. In India, the new social categories of varna and jati formed the bedrock organization of society and severely limited the power of the state to penetrate and control it. Indian civilization, defined by varna and jati, spread all the way from the Khyber Pass to Southeast Asia and unified a diverse range of linguistic and ethnic groups. But this huge territory was never once ruled by a single political power and never developed a single literary language as China did. Indeed, the history of India before the late twentieth century is much more one of persistent political disunity and weakness, with some of the most successful unifiers being foreign invaders whose political power rested on a different social basis.


pages: 927 words: 216,549

Empire of Guns by Priya Satia

banking crisis, British Empire, business intelligence, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, hiring and firing, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, Menlo Park, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, rent-seeking, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, zero-sum game

The arms trade’s intimacy with the slave trade helped fuse and confuse ethical and security motivations behind controlling it. In 1890, the Brussels Convention focused on rivalrous European arms flows to Africa, though stopping the slave trade was the explicit rationale. Imperial authorities also blamed the flood of weapons for the surge in crime, unrest—and, from 1905, political terror—in the Middle East and South Asia. They strained to control it. They had long paid the Afridi tribe to guard the Khyber Pass at the Indian frontier; the Afridi revolted in 1897. The British suppressed the revolt and then sought Muscat’s permission to search vessels in its waters, to prevent tribes on the North-West Frontier from obtaining guns. This led to massive seizures in the Persian Gulf in 1898, when a naval ship seized arms headed for Muscat, killing a thriving trade overnight. Birmingham gunmakers saw this incident as proof of their government’s utter fecklessness toward them.


pages: 788 words: 223,004

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

For young American viewers with war fatigue, a story told from the perspective of a bunch of Iraqi Metalheads captured their interest. Music was Alvi’s lane at Vice; he launched its YouTube channel, Noisey, which had an array of corporate sponsors, including Budweiser. He looked like a young grad student or Silicon Valley geek, with glasses and a beard. He was as wiry and calm as Smith was bulky and explosive. For one of the travel guides, he returned to his parents’ native country, Pakistan, to visit a gun market near the Khyber Pass, where his mother had taken him as a child. Dressed like a native and wearing sunglasses, he walked to where bullets were being made from the molten metal of rotting Soviet tanks, the camera following him, zooming in close as he fired a Kalashnikov. Gunfire and danger were often hallmarks of the Vice documentaries. Smith and a very small crew snuck into North Korea from China for a subversive and revealing look at the Hermit Kingdom.


pages: 769 words: 224,916

The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century by Steve Coll

American ideology, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, business climate, colonial rule, Donald Trump, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, forensic accounting, global village, haute couture, intangible asset, Iridium satellite, Khyber Pass, low earth orbit, margin call, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, urban planning, Yogi Berra

A family attorney said that Ghalib recalled that “the cash which he [Ghalib] took with him from Peshawar was distributed to the poor in refugee camps” and was not provided to Osama; the attorney emphasized that Ghalib had never provided financial or other support for Osama’s terrorism.19 At the time of this visit, Osama was suffering through the most trying episode of his Afghan adventure. In March, at the direction of Pakistani intelligence, a large force of Afghan rebels had opened an assault on the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, about a four-hour drive away from Peshawar, over the Khyber Pass. The city was defended by a rump force of Afghan communist soldiers who feared they would be executed if they yielded their positions, and, therefore, fought fiercely, supported by clandestine Soviet officers who manned Scud missile batteries. Osama joined the siege campaign, leading a company-sized force of Arab volunteers who had been trained over the winter at the inaugural Al Qaeda camps.


Coastal California by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, airport security, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Mason jar, McMansion, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Wozniak, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, white picket fence, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Kous Kous MOROCCAN $$ (www.kouskousrestaurant.com; 3940 4th Ave; mains $14-20; 5pm-late; ) Entering this otherworldly Moroccan eatery is like stepping onto another continent: the dining room is seductively illuminated by glowing lanterns, dinner guests sit on jewel-toned cushions drinking exotic cocktails, the aroma of ginger, nutmeg and foreign spices hangs in the air. Don’t miss the lamb sausage or the B’stila roll (saffron chicken baked with honey, cinnamon and almonds in phyllo dough). Khyber Pass MIDDLE EASTERN $$ (www.khyberpasssandiego.com; 523 University Ave; mains $14-30; 11:30am-10pm; ) Afghan tapestries and moody photos set the tone in this tall-ceilinged space, with adventuresome Afghan cooking. Never had it? Think Indian meets Middle Eastern, with yogurt curries, kababs and stews. Saigon on Fifth VIETNAMESE $$ (3900 5th Ave; mains $11-16; 11am-midnight; ) For good Vietnamese, try this elegant but not overbearing place.


Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis

British Empire, Columbine, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route

Given to horseplay and crude practical jokes, a brilliant mimic with a voice like a bass drum and a great hissing laugh, he was a figure cut to inspire Kipling: a British officer fiercely loyal to his regiment, paternally protective of his men, fluent in a dozen native tongues, with a limitless appetite for drink, sport, food, and anything Indian. Martin Conway described Bruce’s energy as that “of a steam engine plus a goods train.” As a young man he was so strong that he could, with his arm extended, lift a grown man seated in a chair off the ground to ear level. To keep fit he regularly ran up and down the flanks of the Khyber Pass, carrying his orderly on his back. As a middle-aged colonel he would wrestle six of his men at once. It was said by some that he had slept with the wife of every enlisted man in the force. To his friends he was known as “Bruiser” Bruce; the men of the regiment called him simply Bhalu, the bear, or Burra Sahib, the Big Sahib. Like all field officers, Bruce watched his troops carefully and had strong opinions about the fighting abilities of the various tribal and ethnic groups that made up the army.


California by Sara Benson

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, planetary scale, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the new new thing, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Hash House a Go Go (Map; 619-298-4646; 3628 5th Ave; mains breakfast & lunch $8-15, dinner $14-36; breakfast & lunch daily, dinner Tue-Sun) What is hash exactly? At this long-popular gathering spot it’s a pile of breakfast potatoes tossed with meat or veggies and topped with two eggs. Sound decadent? Wait until you see the massive portions. Also vying for your attention are straight outta Carolina flapjacks, benedicts, and biscuits and gravy. Khyber Pass (Map; 619-294-7579; 523 University Ave; most mains $13-30; 11:30am-10pm; ) Afghan tapestries and moody photos set the tone in this tall-ceilinged space, with adventuresome Afghan cooking. Never had it? Think Indian meets Middle Eastern, with yogurt curries, kabobs and stews. For good Vietnamese, there’s elegant but not overbearing Saigon on Fifth (Map; 619-220-8828; 3900 5th Ave; mains $8-16; 11am-midnight).