|Afghānistān (officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan); Persian (Dari): جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان, Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت) is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Asia and the Middle East. Generally considered a part of Central Asia, it is sometimes ascribed to a regional bloc in either the Middle East or South Asia, as it has cultural, ethno-linguistic, and geographic links with most of its neighbours. It is bordered by Iran in the west, Pakistan in the south and east, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and the People's Republic of China to the east. The name Afghanistan is derived from Persian, meaning "land of the Afghans"
Afghanistan is a mosaic of ethnic groups and cultures, and a crossroads between east and west. An ancient land that has often been plundered, and also a focal point of trade, the region of present-day Afghanistan has seen several invading forces come and go, including Indo-Iranians (Mede and Persian Empires and Parthians), Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and Mongols. Modern Afghanistan arose as an independent state in 1919, when foreign intervention ceased following the Anglo-Afghan wars. The country's recent history has seen it ravaged by the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, the Afghan Civil War, the rise and fall of the Taliban, and the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States and its allies in 2001.