OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
As OCLC expanded services in the United States outside Ohio, it relied on establishing strategic partnerships with "networks", organizations that provided training and marketing services. By 2008, there were 15 independent United States regional service providers. OCLC networks played a key role in OCLC governance, with networks electing delegates to serve on the OCLC Members Council. During 2008, OCLC commissioned two studies to look at distribution channels. In early 2009, OCLC negotiated new contracts with the former networks and opened a centralized support center. OCLC provides bibliographic and full-text information to anyone. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the largest online public access catalog in the world. WorldCat has holding records from private libraries worldwide; the Open WorldCat program, launched in late 2003, exposed a subset of WorldCat records to Web users via popular Internet search and bookselling sites.
In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
Presentations – Presentations from both guest speakers and OCLC research from conferences and other events. The presentations are organized into five categories: Conference presentations, Dewey presentations, Distinguished Seminar Series, Guest presentations, Research staff
2008 United States presidential election
The 2008 United States presidential election was the 56th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. The Democratic ticket of Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, Joe Biden, the senior Senator from Delaware, defeated the Republican ticket of John McCain, the senior Senator from Arizona, Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska. Obama became the first African American to be elected as president. Incumbent Republican President George W. Bush was ineligible to pursue a third term due to the term limits established by the 22nd Amendment; as neither Bush nor Vice President Dick Cheney sought the presidency, the 2008 election was the first election since 1952 in which neither major party's presidential nominee was the incumbent president or the incumbent vice president. McCain secured the Republican nomination by March 2008, defeating Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, other challengers; the Democratic primaries were marked by a sharp contest between Obama and the initial front-runner, Senator Hillary Clinton.
Clinton's victory in the New Hampshire primary made her the first woman to win a major party's presidential primary. After a long primary season, Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in June 2008. Early campaigning focused on the Iraq War and Bush's unpopularity. McCain supported the war, as well as a troop surge that had begun in 2007, while Obama opposed the war. Bush endorsed McCain, but the two did not campaign together, Bush did not appear in person at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Obama campaigned on the theme that "Washington must change,"; the campaign was affected by the onset of a major financial crisis, which peaked in September 2008. McCain's decision to suspend his campaign during the height of the financial crisis backfired as voters viewed his response as erratic. Obama won a decisive victory over McCain, winning the Electoral College and the popular vote by a sizable margin, including states that had not voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since 1976 and 1964.
Obama received the largest share of the popular vote won by a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964; as of the 2016 presidential election Obama's total count of 69.5 million votes still stands as the largest tally won by a presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton, U. S. Senator from New York John Edwards, former U. S. Senator from North Carolina Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico Dennis Kucinich, U. S. Representative from Ohio Joe Biden, U. S. Senator from Delaware Mike Gravel, former U. S. Senator from Alaska Christopher Dodd, U. S. Senator from Connecticut Evan Bayh, U. S. Senator from Indiana Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa Media speculation had begun immediately after the results of the 2004 presidential election were released. In the 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats regained majorities in both houses of the U. S. Congress. Early polls taken before anyone had announced a candidacy had shown Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as the most popular potential Democratic candidates.
The media speculated on several other candidates, including Al Gore, the runner-up in the 2000 election. Edwards was one of the first to formally announce his candidacy for the presidency, on December 28, 2006; this run would be his second attempt at the presidency. Clinton announced intentions to run in the Democratic primaries on January 20, 2007. Obama announced his candidacy on February 10 in his home state of Illinois. Early in the year, the support for Barack Obama started to increase in the polls, he passed Clinton for the top spot in Iowa. Obama's win was fueled by first time caucus-goers and Independents and showed voters viewed him as the "candidate of change." Iowa has since been viewed as the state that jump-started Obama's campaign and set him on track to win both the nomination and the presidency. After the Iowa caucus, Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd withdrew from the nomination contest. Obama became the new front runner in New Hampshire, when his poll numbers skyrocketed after his Iowa victory The Clinton campaign was struggling after a huge loss in Iowa and no strategy beyond the early primaries and caucuses.
According to The Vancouver Sun, Campaign strategists had "mapped a victory scenario that envisioned the former first lady wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination by Super Tuesday on Feb. 5." In what is considered a turning point for her campaign, Clinton had a strong performance at the Saint Anselm College, ABC, Facebook debates several days before the New Hampshire primary as well as an emotional interview in a public broadcast live on TV. Clinton won that primary by 2% of the vote, contrary to the predictions of pollsters who had her trailing Obama for a few days up to the primary date. Clinton's win was the
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a publisher of textbooks, instructional technology materials, reference works, fiction and non-fiction for both young readers and adults. The company is based in Boston's Financial District; the company was known as Houghton Mifflin Company but changed its name following the 2007 acquisition of Harcourt Publishing. Prior to March 2010, it was a subsidiary of Education Media and Publishing Group Limited, an Irish-owned holding company registered in the Cayman Islands and known as Riverdeep. In 1832, William Ticknor and John Allen purchased a bookselling business in Boston and began to involve themselves in publishing. James Thomas Fields joined as a partner in 1843 and with Tickner gathered an impressive list of writers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau; the duo formed a close relationship with Riverside Press, a Boston printing company owned by Henry Oscar Houghton. Houghton founded his own publishing company with partner Melancthon Hurd in 1864, with George Mifflin joining the partnership in 1872.
In 1878, Ticknor and Fields, now under the leadership of James R. Osgood, found itself in financial difficulties and merged its operations with Hurd and Houghton; the new partnership, named Houghton and Company, held the rights to the literary works of both publishers. When Osgood left the firm two years the business reemerged as Houghton and Company. Despite a lucrative partnership with Lawson Valentine, Houghton and Company still had debt it had inherited from Ticknor and Fields, so it decided to add partners. In 1884 James D. Hurd, the son of Melancthon Hurd, became a partner. In 1888, three others became partners as well: James Murray Kay, Thurlow Weed Barnes, Henry Oscar Houghton Jr. Shortly thereafter, the company established an Educational Department, from 1891 to 1908 sales of educational materials increased by 500 percent; the firm incorporated in 1908. Soon after 1916, Houghton Mifflin became involved in publishing standardized tests and testing materials, working with such test developers as E. F. Lindquist.
By 1921, the company was the fourth-largest educational publisher in the United States. In 1961, Houghton Mifflin famously passed on Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, giving it up to Alfred A. Knopf who published it in 1962, it is considered by many to be the bible of French cooking. Houghton Mifflin's strategic error was depicted in the 2009 film Julia. In 1967, Houghton Mifflin became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol HTN. In 1979, Houghton Mifflin acquired the children's division of Seabury Press. Under president Nader F. Darehshori Houghton Mifflin acquired McDougal Littell in 1994 for $138 million, an educational publisher of secondary school materials, the following year acquired D. C. Heath and Company, a publisher of supplemental educational resources. In 1996, the company created their Great Source Education Group to combine the supplemental material product lines of their School Division and these two companies. In 1998, HMH announced a sub-brand called LOGAL Software, to release a new line of interactive science software called Science Gateways, to support the United States curriculum.
As of 2017, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is offering the "Logal Science" brand as a licensing opportunity on its website. In 2017, it was announced that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt would be getting involved in TV production with a planned 2019 Netflix series that will revive the Carmen Sandiego franchise. Mergers and acquisitions activities have had major effects on this company. In 2001, Houghton Mifflin was acquired by French media giant Vivendi Universal for $2.2 billion including assumed debt. In 2002, facing mounting financial and legal pressures, Vivendi sold Houghton to private equity investors Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group for $1.66 billion, including assumed debt. On December 22, 2006, it was announced that Riverdeep PLC had completed its acquisition of Houghton Mifflin; the new joint enterprise would be called the Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group. Riverdeep paid $1.75 billion in cash and assumed $1.61 billion in debt from the private investment firms Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group.
Tony Lucki, a former non-executive director of Riverdeep, remained in his position as the company's chief executive officer until April 2009. Houghton Mifflin sold its professional testing unit, Promissor, to Pearson plc in 2006; the company combined its remaining assessment products within Riverside Publishing, including San Francisco-based Edusoft. On July 16, 2007, Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Harcourt Education, Harcourt Trade and Greenwood-Heinemann divisions of Reed Elsevier for $4 billion; the expanded company would become Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. McDougal Littell was merged with Harcourt's Rinehart & Winston to form Holt McDougal. On December 3, 2007, Cengage Learning announced that it had agreed to acquire the assets of the Houghton Mifflin College Division for $750 million, pending regulatory approval. On November 25, 2008, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced a temporary freeze on acquisition of new trade division titles in response to the economic crisis of 2008.
The publisher of the trade division resigned in protest. Many observers familiar with the publishing industry saw the move as a devastating blunder. Harcourt Religion was sold to Our Sunday Visitor in 2009. On July 27, 2009, the Irish
The Beat Generation was a literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. The bulk of their work popularized throughout the 1950s; the central elements of Beat culture are the rejection of standard narrative values, making a spiritual quest, the exploration of American and Eastern religions, the rejection of materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, sexual liberation and exploration. Allen Ginsberg's Howl, William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch and Jack Kerouac's On the Road are among the best known examples of Beat literature. Both Howl and Naked Lunch were the focus of obscenity trials that helped to liberalize publishing in the United States; the members of the Beat Generation developed a reputation as new bohemian hedonists, who celebrated non-conformity and spontaneous creativity. The core group of Beat Generation authors – Herbert Huncke, Burroughs, Lucien Carr, Kerouac – met in 1944 in and around the Columbia University campus in New York City.
In the mid-1950s, the central figures ended up together in San Francisco where they met and became friends of figures associated with the San Francisco Renaissance. In the 1960s, elements of the expanding Beat movement were incorporated into the hippie and larger counterculture movements. Neal Cassady, as the driver for Ken Kesey's bus Further, was the primary bridge between these two generations. Ginsberg's work became an integral element of early 1960s hippie culture. Kerouac introduced the phrase "Beat Generation" in 1948 to characterize a perceived underground, anti-conformist youth movement in New York; the name arose in a conversation with writer John Clellon Holmes. Kerouac allows that it was Huncke, a street hustler, who used the phrase "beat", in an earlier discussion with him; the adjective "beat" could colloquially mean "tired" or "beaten down" within the African-American community of the period and had developed out of the image "beat to his socks", but Kerouac appropriated the image and altered the meaning to include the connotations "upbeat", "beatific", the musical association of being "on the beat", "the Beat to keep" from the Beat Generation poem.
The origins of the Beat Generation can be traced to Columbia University and the meeting of Kerouac, Carr, Hal Chase and others. Kerouac attended Columbia on a football scholarship. Though the beats are regarded as anti-academic, many of their ideas were formed in response to professors like Lionel Trilling and Mark Van Doren. Classmates Carr and Ginsberg discussed the need for a "New Vision", to counteract what they perceived as their teachers' conservative, formalistic literary ideals. Burroughs had an interest in criminal behavior and got involved in dealing stolen goods and narcotics, he was soon addicted to opiates. Burroughs' guide to the criminal underworld was a small-time criminal and drug-addict; the Beats were drawn to Huncke, who started to write himself, convinced that he possessed a vital worldly knowledge unavailable to them from their middle-class upbringings. Ginsberg was arrested in 1949; the police attempted to stop Ginsberg while he was driving with Huncke, his car filled with stolen items that Huncke planned to fence.
Ginsberg crashed the car while trying to flee and escaped on foot, but left incriminating notebooks behind. He was given the option to plead insanity to avoid a jail term, was committed for 90 days to Bellevue Hospital, where he met Carl Solomon. Solomon was arguably more eccentric than psychotic. A fan of Antonin Artaud, he indulged in self-consciously "crazy" behavior, like throwing potato salad at a college lecturer on Dadaism. Solomon was given shock treatments at Bellevue. Solomon became the publishing contact who agreed to publish Burroughs' first novel Junky in 1953. Beat writers and artists flocked to Greenwich Village in New York City in the late 1950s because of low rent and the'small town' element of the scene. Folksongs and discussions took place in Washington Square Park. Allen Ginsberg was a big part of the scene in the Village, as was Burroughs, who lived at 69 Bedford Street. Burroughs, Ginsberg and other poets frequented many bars in the area including the San Remo Cafe at 93 MacDougal Street on the northwest corner of Bleeker, Chumley's, Minetta Tavern.
Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, other abstract expressionists were frequent visitors and collaborators of the beats. Cultural critics have written about the transition of Beat culture in the Village into the Bohemian hippie culture of the 1960s. Ginsberg had visited Neal and Carolyn Cassady in San Jose, California in 1954 and moved to San Francisco in August, he began writing Howl. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, of the new City Lights Bookstore, started to publish the City Lights Pocket Poets Series in 1955. Kenneth Rexroth's apartment became a Friday night literary salon; when asked by Wally Hedrick to organize the Six Gallery reading, Ginsberg wanted Rexroth to serve as master of ceremonies, in a sense to bridge generations. Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen and Gary Snyder read on October 7, 1955, before 100 people. Lamantia read poems of his late friend John Hoffman. At his first public reading Ginsberg perf
Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the factors that shaped modernism were the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed by reactions of horror to World War I. Modernism rejected the certainty of Enlightenment thinking, many modernists rejected religious belief. Modernism, in general, includes the activities and creations of those who felt the traditional forms of art, literature, religious faith, social organization, activities of daily life, sciences, were becoming ill-fitted to their tasks and outdated in the new economic and political environment of an emerging industrialized world; the poet Ezra Pound's 1934 injunction to "Make it new!" was the touchstone of the movement's approach towards what it saw as the now obsolete culture of the past. In this spirit, its innovations, like the stream-of-consciousness novel and twelve-tone music, divisionist painting and abstract art, all had precursors in the 19th century.
A notable characteristic of modernism is self-consciousness and irony concerning literary and social traditions, which led to experiments with form, along with the use of techniques that drew attention to the processes and materials used in creating a painting, building, etc. Modernism explicitly rejected the ideology of realism and made use of the works of the past by the employment of reprise, rewriting, recapitulation and parody; some commentators define modernism as a mode of thinking—one or more philosophically defined characteristics, like self-consciousness or self-reference, that run across all the novelties in the arts and the disciplines. More common in the West, are those who see it as a progressive trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create and reshape their environment with the aid of practical experimentation, scientific knowledge, or technology. From this perspective, modernism encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence, from commerce to philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was'holding back' progress, replacing it with new ways of reaching the same end.
Others focus on modernism as an aesthetic introspection. This facilitates consideration of specific reactions to the use of technology in the First World War, anti-technological and nihilistic aspects of the works of diverse thinkers and artists spanning the period from Friedrich Nietzsche to Samuel Beckett. While some scholars see modernism continuing into the twenty first century, others see it evolving into late modernism or high modernism. Postmodernism refutes its basic assumptions. According to one critic, modernism developed out of Romanticism's revolt against the effects of the Industrial Revolution and bourgeois values: "The ground motive of modernism, Graff asserts, was criticism of the nineteenth-century bourgeois social order and its world view the modernists, carrying the torch of romanticism." While J. M. W. Turner, one of the greatest landscape painters of the 19th century, was a member of the Romantic movement, as "a pioneer in the study of light and atmosphere", he "anticipated the French Impressionists" and therefore modernism "in breaking down conventional formulas of representation.
The dominant trends of industrial Victorian England were opposed, from about 1850, by the English poets and painters that constituted the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, because of their "opposition to technical skill without inspiration." They were influenced by the writings of the art critic John Ruskin, who had strong feelings about the role of art in helping to improve the lives of the urban working classes, in the expanding industrial cities of Britain. Art critic Clement Greenberg describes the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as proto-Modernists: "There the proto-Modernists were, of all people, the pre-Raphaelites; the Pre-Raphaelites foreshadowed Manet, with whom Modernist painting most begins. They acted on a dissatisfaction with painting as practiced in their time, holding that its realism wasn't truthful enough." Rationalism has had opponents in the philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche, both of whom had significant influence on existentialism. However, the Industrial Revolution continued.
Influential innovations included steam-powered industrialization, the development of railways, starting in Britain in the 1830s, the subsequent advancements in physics and architecture associated with this. A major 19th-century engineering achievement was The Crystal Palace, the huge cast-iron and plate glass exhibition hall built for The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. Glass and iron were used in a similar monumental style in the construction of major railway terminals in London, such as Paddington Station and King's Cross station; these technological advances led to the building of structures like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Eiffel Tower. The latter broke all previous limitations on; these engineering marvels radically altered the 19th-century urban environment and the daily lives of people. The human experience of time itself was altered, with the development of the electric telegraph from 1837, the adoption
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan, code named Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan and Operation Freedom's Sentinel, followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001. The U. S. was supported by the United Kingdom and Australia and by a coalition of over 40 countries, including all NATO members. The war's public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. Since the initial objectives were completed at the end of 2001, the war involves U. S. and allied Afghan government troops battling Taliban insurgents. The War in Afghanistan is the longest war in U. S. history. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001 on the U. S. which President George W. Bush blamed on Osama bin Laden, living or hiding in Afghanistan and had been wanted since 1998, President Bush demanded that the Taliban, who were de facto ruling the country, hand over bin Laden; the Taliban declined to extradite him unless they were provided clear evidence of his involvement in the attacks, which the U.
S. dismissed as a delaying tactic and on 7 October 2001 launched Operation Enduring Freedom with the United Kingdom. The two were joined by other forces, including the Northern Alliance – the Afghan opposition, fighting the Taliban in the ongoing civil war since 1996. By December 2001, the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies were defeated in the country, at the Bonn Conference new Afghan interim authorities elected Hamid Karzai to head the Afghan Interim Administration; the United Nations Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force to assist the new authority with securing Kabul, which after a 2002 loya jirga became the Afghan Transitional Administration. A nationwide rebuilding effort was made following the end of the totalitarian Taliban regime. In the popular elections of 2004, Karzai was elected president of the country, now named the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. NATO became involved in ISAF in August 2003, that year assumed leadership of it. At this stage, ISAF included troops from 43 countries with NATO members providing the majority of the force.
One portion of U. S. forces in Afghanistan operated under NATO command. S. command. Following defeat in the initial invasion, the Taliban was reorganized by its leader Mullah Omar, launched an insurgency against the Afghan government and ISAF in 2003. Though outgunned and outnumbered, insurgents from the Taliban - and to a lesser extent Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin and other groups - waged asymmetric warfare with guerrilla raids and ambushes in the countryside, suicide attacks against urban targets, turncoat killings against coalition forces; the Taliban exploited weaknesses in the Afghan government to reassert influence across rural areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan. From 2006 the Taliban made significant gains and showed an increased willingness to commit atrocities against civilians – ISAF responded by increasing troops for counter-insurgency operations to "clear and hold" villages. Violence escalated from 2007 to 2009. Troop numbers began to surge in 2009 and continued to increase through 2011 when 140,000 foreign troops operated under ISAF and U.
S. command in Afghanistan. Of these 100,000 were from the U. S. On 1 May 2011, United States Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. NATO leaders in 2012 commended an exit strategy for withdrawing their forces, the United States announced that its major combat operations would end in December 2014, leaving a residual force in the country. In October 2014, British forces handed over the last bases in Helmand to the Afghan military ending their combat operations in the war. On 28 December 2014, NATO formally ended ISAF combat operations in Afghanistan and transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government; the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support was formed the same day as a successor to ISAF. As of May 2017, over 13,000 foreign troops remain in Afghanistan without any formal plans to withdraw, continue their fight against the Taliban, which remains by far the largest single group fighting against the Afghan government and foreign troops. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the war.
Over 4,000 ISAF soldiers and civilian contractors, over 62,000 Afghan national security forces were killed, as well as over 31,000 civilians and more Taliban. Afghanistan's political order began to break down with the overthrow of King Zahir Shah by his distant cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan in a bloodless 1973 Afghan coup d'état. Daoud Khan had served as prime minister since 1953 and promoted economic modernization, emancipation of women, Pashtun nationalism; this was threatening to neighboring Pakistan, faced with its own restive Pashtun population. In the mid-1970s, Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto began to encourage Afghan Islamist leaders such as Burhanuddin Rabbani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, to fight against the regime. In 1978, Daoud Khan was killed in a coup by Afghan's Communist Party, his former partner in government, known as the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan; the PDPA pushed for a socialist transformation by abolishing arranged marriages, promoting mass literacy and reforming land ownership.
This provoked opposition across rural areas. The PDPA's crackdown was met including Ismail Khan's Herat Uprising; the PDPA was beset by internal leadership differences and was weakened by an internal coup on 11 September 1979 when Hafizullah Amin ousted Nur Muhammad Tara