The Pashtuns are a culturally homogenous tribal group with homelands in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is not known how long the Pashtuns have occupied their current territories but estimates are that they have been in the area for nearly 2000 years. They are a warlike people and a polite people, as well, for when a Pashtun is offended his family is offended and often this can mean a vendetta that will be pursued intergenerationally. It is said that the Pashtuns have large families in the expectation that several children or more will die pursuing various vendettas.
The Pashtuns and the Punjabis in Pakistan are some of the oldest tribes on Earth. It is obvious these territories were settled long ago. The Pashtuns, as a whole, practice subsistence farming and herding; poppy growing is another lucrative endeavor.
For some reason, NATO and America have attacked the Pashtuns and waged a decade-long struggle to pacify the region. This is a dubious proposition given that the Pashtuns have successfully fought off Alexander the Great, the British and the Russians. In the case of the Russians, America provided the Pashtuns weapons. Now Pakistan is providing the weapons, as well as some training.
Most of the Pashtuns who are fighting NATO and the Americans are known as Taliban. They are fundamentalist Muslims educated in the Madrassas – schools – of Pakistan's rural regions. Pakistan, despite being a putative ally of NATO, continues to generate these youthful warriors because the Pakistani leadership is most concerned that Afghanistan doesn't become an outpost of its main enemy, India.
There is no doubt that the Pashtuns will continue to fight against occupation, resisting silently or through the fighting forces of the Taliban. The suicide bombing tactics that the Taliban uses are especially noteworthy as they are ubiquitous and speak to a spirit of resistance that travels back in time.
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