Afghanistan, or The North West Frontier as it was known to the British Empire was the wild Northwest territories of the Indian subcontinent and marked the edge of the Empire in that part of the world. The Great Game was played in and around this area as we sparred with Imperial Russia for influence. The British Army suffered several very unpleasant reverses in this rugged country at the hands of the great great great grandfathers of the fuckers currently using our armed forces for target practice.
In the 1980s Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviets (although in truth they were invited in by the then government who they immediately deposed). The Soviets spent a long time fighting a vicious guerrilla war with the Afghan tribes and Saudi mercenaries who were supplied by the CIA. One such resistance leader was a geezer called Osama Bin Laden. After the Soviets left the country was ruled by the Taliban and independent warlords until British and American forces helped the Afghan National Forces to defeat the Taliban.
2006: In the best traditions of the Foreign Office, a very small contingent of the British Army has been sent to Afghanistan with little (or even adequate) kit, vague instructions and rampant mission creep.
Expecting them to work wonders with very few resources, this is rapidly turning into the new 'hot potato' that no one wants to hold although perhaps grenade with the pin out would be more appropriate! However according to the Foreign Office ... it's all in hand. So it's head up the arrse time ... sorry ... business as usual at the Foreign Office.