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Archives Unbound
Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files


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Gale Cengage


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Afghanistan's history, internal political development, foreign relations and very existence as an independent state have largely been determined by its location at the crossroads of Central, West and South Asia. From antiquity to modern times, vast armies of the world passed through Afghanistan, temporarily establishing local control and often dominating Iran and northern India.

Growing influence and impact

Although it was the scene of great empires and flourishing trade for more than 2,000 years, Afghanistan did not become a truly independent nation until the 20th century - and for much of that century it remained neutral. Afghanistan did not participate in World War II, for instance, nor did it align with either power bloc during the Cold War. However, the country was a beneficiary of the Cold War rivalry as both the Soviet Union and the United States vied for influence by building such infrastructure works as roads, airports, water and sewer systems and hospitals.

The archival documents found in Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files are drawn from the U.S. State Department Central Classified Files. These files are the definitive source of American diplomatic reporting on worldwide political, military, social and economic developments in the 20th century.

This collection of State Department files relating to internal and foreign affairs contain a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats, including:

- special reports on political and military affairs

- studies and statistics on socioeconomic matters

- interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials

- court proceedings and other legal documents

- full texts of important letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel

- voluminous reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers

- countless translations of high-level foreign government documents, including speeches, memoranda, official reports, and transcripts of political meetings and assemblies

For this collection, Gale compiled thousands of pages, arranged topically and chronologically, on crucial subjects such as political parties and elections, unrest and revolution, human rights, government, labor, housing, public health, religion, industry and much more.

Date Range: 1945-1963

Content: 9,674 pages

Source Library: U.S. National Archives

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