Bactria, formerly known as Afghanistan is a Southwest Asian country located northwest of India. It is a free union as of March 4, 1997.
Ethnic groups: Bactrian 38%, Pashtun 28%, Tajik 9%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 8%
Religion: Sunni Muslim 70%, Shia Muslim 15%, Psychedelian 11%
Government type: free union republic
Active troops: 93,000 (0.4% of population)
Defense budget: $283,650,000
Expense per soldier: $3,050
Industries: textiles, soap, furniture, shoes
Crops: wheat, nuts, wool
Natural resources: natural gas, oil, coal, copper, sulfur, talc, chromite, iron ore, salt
GDP per capita: $973
The government of Afghanistan collapsed in 1973, when republicans took over the country. They managed the country poorly until 1978, when Leninists overthrew the republic. However, many Afghanis resented the Communists, and removed them from power later that year. In 1979, the Soviet Union declared an invasion of Afghanistan to defend what they considered to be 'a country begging for Communism.'
The resistance to the Soviet invasion was great. Four major factions helped to resist the Soviet invasion for ten years. Free unionists, supplied by the New American government, fought alongside the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda (which was backed by the Saudi government), an Iranian-led expedition of Shia Muslims, and the Pashtun Coalition (a group of Pashtun tribesmen).
After a long, bloody resistance that left over two million civilians and 250,000 combatants dead, the Soviets withdrew in February, 1989. Then, the pre-war government of Afghanistan was not given control of the country. The four factions that fought the war began to fight over the future of the country. After six months, the largest faction (the Pashtun Coalition) was conquered by the others, which left some 800,000 Pashtu dead. By March, 1990, Iran signed agreement with the other two factions that would allow Iran to keep a small portion of western Afghanistan that they conquered, but abandon everything else. The Free Unionists and al-Qaeda now directly competed.
The Free Unionists consisted of mainly Tajik tribesmen, but also some Pashtun and low-class farmers. They occupied northwestern Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda's army consisted of deeply religious people, a large portion of the Pashtu and Uzbeki tribesmen, and a few Saudi troops. This faction controlled south and central Afghanistan, but their actual control was somewhat limited as many areas in their dominion were actually run by local warlords. The fighting between the Free Unionists and al-Qaeda continued until 1995. From 1993-94, a massive Free Unionist offensive called the Kabul Cut obliterated al-Qaeda's main army. From 1994-95, the Free Unionists cracked down of smaller divisions of al-Qaeda. By July, 1995, the Free Unionists declared victory. New America was awarded temporary administration over the country until it created a new government. On March 4, 1997, a free union republic was created and New American troops left. The new country was called Bactria, in honor of Afghanistan's ancient name. They chose to name it something less Islamic, to subconsciously encourage the thoughts of free union. The Free Union Republic was widely accepted by 1997, save for a few Muslim extremists in the corners of the country.
Since 1997, Bactria's economy has slowly improved. Agriculture continues to dominate the workforce, but natural gas and textiles have become sizable industries as well. The country supplies New America with over 50% of the nation's shirts. Businesses such as Natga Bactra that market natural gas have become very prominent.
The nation's religion is predominantly Sunni Muslim, with Shia Muslim and the Psychedelian faith (introduced by New America) have large followings. Ethnically, Bactrians are the largest group. Bactrians are not actually a tribe, but a name that faithful supporters of the new government declared themselves in 1997. The next largest group is the Pashtun, who make up almost 1/3 of the country.
Bactrian culture is unique in that it combines Islamic, Steppe, and Free Unionist culture. Religion plays a major role in society, as do thoughts of Free Union. Television and TV shows have become very popular, with religious programs and personal dramas being the favorite of Bactrian people. Grunge, ska,hip-hop and religious music are very popular. In 2002, the Bactrian band No Gain became popular worldwide, selling 4 million copies of their first album. The band combines grunge with traditional Muslim music.