December 7th, 2009
06:45 AM ET

Is Afghanistan really a 'graveyard of empires?'

Known as the "graveyard of empires," Afghanistan has a reputation for undoing ambitious military ventures and humiliating would-be conquerors, a fate U.S.  President Obama's opponents at home say is not worth risking more American lives for.

In the past two centuries, both Soviet and British invaders have been forced to beat bloody retreats from Afghanistan, deprived of victories that, on paper, looked easy, but ultimately proved futile.

This, say some, is the inevitable Afghan experience. Isolated, poverty-stricken and brutalized by interminable conflict that technological advances in warfare fail to end, the country apparently remains as impervious to today's military adventurers as it was to yesterday's.

Read more from CNN.com's Barry Neild