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Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

"Afghanistan's the simplest place in the world, once you stop trying to change it."
Billy Russo to Dinah Madani[src]

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country in Asia.


CIA Operations

In the 2000s, the War on Terror began as terrorist groups spread across Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East. The CIA deployed several operations in Afghanistan, tasking several agents to supervise it, such as William Rawlins[1] and Sarah Russell.[2]

Jericho Presentation

"You see, Eloise, two weeks from now, I'm scheduled to go to Afghanistan and test a weapon so secret that I can't even tell you its name."
Tony Stark to Eloise[src]

Tony Stark presenting the Jericho missiles to the military

Tony Stark traveled to Afghanistan on a business trip in order to host a demonstration of the Jericho missile designed by Stark Industries for the United States Air Force. Together with James Rhodes, Stark arrived at the Bagram Air Base, where he was greeted by William Gabriel and prepared to leave for the site of the demonstration. Giving a speech about the importance of weapons to maintain world peace, Stark unleashed a Jericho over a mountain range, impressing the officers.[3]

Kidnapping of Tony Stark

"Without Tony Stark's fateful capture in Afghanistan, the Age of Iron Man would never come to pass."
The Watcher[src]

United States Air Force convoy is attacked by the Ten Rings

The United States Air Force convoy was deployed to escort Tony Stark and the other attendees to the demonstration. Stark refused to travel in the same Humvee as Rhodes, and while chatting with the airmen assigned to escort him, the convoy was attacked by members of the Ten Rings. The soldiers were killed and while trying to flee, Stark was affected by the explosion of one of his own weapons, causing a large amount of shrapnel to penetrate his Bulletproof Vest and injure him.

While unconscious for the effect of the injuries, he was kidnapped by the Ten Rings and taken to the war camp in Afghanistan, in order to film a video for their then unrevealed employer. Rhodes' convoy arrived to Kunar five minutes after Stark's, but by that time, Stark was already gone.[4]

Tony Stark is greeted by Abu Bakaar

Upon his arrival to the base, Stark had to be operated by Ho Yinsen who tried to remove the shrapnel that penetrated Stark's chest. Being unable to remove all the pieces, Yinsen had to insert an electromagnet powered by a car battery to keep the shrapnel from reaching Stark's heart and killing him. When Stark recovered consciousness, Yinsen explained his current condition and acted as his translator and for them. Abu Bakaar instructed him to make a missile for them, and after being tortured and shown a vast arsenal of Stark Industries weapons.

Tony Stark working with Ho Yinsen

However, Yinsen convinced Stark to make a difference in what could possibly be the last days of his life, so instead of making a missile, Stark and Yinsen developed a miniature Arc Reactor so Stark to increase Stark's chances of surviving the shrapnel injury, and they secretly started working on an armor powered by the reactor that will help them escape. After working on the armor for three months, Stark and Yinsen formed a strong bond between one another. Unhappy with Stark's progress, Raza threatened to kill Yinsen and gave them an ultimatum, one more day to construct the missile.

Iron Man destroying the Ten Rings Base

Stark and Yinsen finished assembling the armor, and Yinsen tried to distract the terrorists so Stark could charge it. Stark burned down the base, killing the terrorists, only to find Yinsen critically injured and eventually died. Enraged, Stark destroyed all weapons in the base and flew out of the area. He crashed landed in a deserted area and wandered until one of the search and rescue units commanded by Rhodes found him and moved him back to the United States. The remnants of Stark's armor were recovered by Raza and the rest of the Ten Rings.[3]

Battle of Gulmira

Iron Man fighting the Ten Rings members

"No, see, this isn't a game. You do not send civilian equipment into my active war zone. You understand that?"
James Rhodes to Iron Man[src]

Later, Tony Stark discovered the massive offense in Gulmira by the Ten Rings using the Jericho missiles. Donning his Mark III armor, Stark travel to Afghanistan where attacked the terrorists in Gulmira without harming the human shields and civilians that had been taken as hostages. Leaving Abu Bakaar to the mercy of the residents of Gulmira, Stark located more arsenals containing fully-armed Jericho missiles and destroyed them.[3]

Iron Man destroying the Jericho missile

During S.H.I.E.L.D. investigation surrounding the events of the Kidnapping of Tony Stark, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson immediately traveled to Gulmira to analyze Stark's role during his attack to the Ten Rings. They find footage recorded by the terrorist and intended to frighten civilians. The footage shows Stark in his armor defeating the terrorists.[4]

Meeting with the Ten Rings

Obadiah Stane confronts Raza

Obadiah Stane traveled to Afghanistan in order to recover Tony Stark's armor prototype accompanied by a group of mercenaries. Stane reunites with Raza, who offered the armor in exchange for an army of "iron soldiers". However, Stane paralyzed him using a Sonic Taser while his mercenaries disarmed the terrorists. After exiting the area, Stane ordered the mercenaries to massacre the terrorists to avoid having any witnesses of his actions.[3]

Landmine Deserts

Tony Stark returned to Afghanistan during his early quest of establishing world peace, using his newly created identity as Iron Man. Stark cleaned several square miles of a landmine-infested desert outside of Kabul, which was littered with explosives placed by the Ten Rings in addition to Soviet landmines, in order to kill the canine brigades tasked by the Afghani armed forces to detect the explosives.

Stark launched his patent-pending design, the Magna-Drone to follow him as he flew in his Iron Man Armor over the desert, activating it once it reached a safe altitude. The Magna-Drone was able to attract and retrieve the landmines with a 100% retrieval and non-detonation rate.[5]

Crossing Asia

Bruce Banner went to hide in Asia after leaving his cabin in Bella Coola, Canada. S.H.I.E.L.D. tracked Banner as he crossed Afghanistan and Pakistan heading to India.[6]

Ghazni Mission

James Rhodes was assigned by United States Air Force on several missions to battle different cells of the Ten Rings. Rhodes traveled to the Ghazni where he had to battle a group of heavily armed terrorists, which attacked him with Rocket-propelled grenades, making Rhodes wonder where would they be able to obtain such firepower.

Rhodes returned to the Bagram Air Base where he contacted Tony Stark, busy at the moment with the construction of Stark Tower in New York City. Stark told Rhodes how he tried to track them for being responsible of his kidnapping, but his investigations after confronting them at Gulmira led to nowhere, as the Ten Rings operated in autonomous cells, and the highest-ranking operative in each cell had one contact in another cell, but not with the overall leader.

Rhodes informed about a lead he obtained, a plan about a bioterror attack in Asia, and Rhodes intended to capture those responsible for such an important operation, as they would probably have more knowledge about the organization than the rest of the operatives.[7]

U.S. Military

Graduating from United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Erik Stevens was recruited by the United States Navy SEALs. Within the SEALs, Stevens was stationed in Afghanistan, having the highest body count in his unit.[8]

Brian Hayward was stationed in Afghanistan by the United States Army for three years, before returning to the United States and being recruited as an operative for the Centipede Project.[9]

United States Marine Corps stationed Frank Castle and Gosnell under Ray Schoonover's command in Afghanistan, undertaking classified missions behind enemy lines. During their service, Castle witnessed Gosnell suffer terrible facial wounds and was awarded the Navy Cross for his service.[10]

Within the United States Army, Lucky and Holo was sent twice in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan before moving to Oahu.[11]

Arrest of Khalid Khandil

"Is this Bakhmala? The Khalid Khandil mission, that was you?"
Natasha Romanoff to Sam Wilson[src]

Sam Wilson and his para-rescue unit were tasked by Air National Guard with apprehending Khalid Khandil, a notable target in Bakhmala. Khandil hid in an area protected by soldiers using RPGs, preventing the United States Armed Forces from sending helicopters to the area. Wilson and Riley infiltrated the area using two sets of EXO-7 Falcon mechanical wing harnesses, allowing them highly maneuvered flight.

Wilson and Riley performed the mission in a way they performed similar operations, but Riley got hit by one of the RPGs, and Wilson could do nothing to help him. Wilson continued his mission and apprehended Khandil; he returned to the United States and started working for the Department of Veterans feeling guilty for Riley's death.[12]

Operation Cerberus

Ray Schoonover briefing the Cerberus Squad

"Afghanistan was different, you know?"
"Different how?"
"Just different. Things we did, they kinda got blurred."
Frank Castle and Curtis Hoyle[src]

Starting the Operation Cerberus, William Rawlins, and Ray Schoonover founded the Cerberus Squad, consisting Frank Castle, Billy Russo, Gunner Henderson and more soldiers from various United States Armed Forces divisions. Stationed in Kandahar, Rawlins and Schoonover assembled the squad in Cerberus Squad Compound and stated that their missions would involve capturing, interrogating, and killing high-value targets.[13]

As Operation Cerberus progressed, the Cerberus Squad eliminated dozens of hostiles across Afghanistan. However, unbeknownst to the squad, missions were unsanctioned by United States Congress or the CIA. Working with Morty Bennett, Rawlins established an illegal drug trafficking ring to sell heroin in the United States through Schoonover's contacts in order to fund their missions.[14]

Assassination of Ahmad Zubair

Ahmad Zubair is captured by the Cerberus Squad

"Ahmad Zubair was my partner. He was taken from his home in Kandahar, shot in the head, and buried in an unmarked grave."
Dinah Madani to Sam Stein[src]

Meanwhile, Afghan National Police collaborated with the Homeland Security, as Ahmad Zubair cooperated with Dinah Madani to investigate the criminal activity in Kandahar. Eventually, Zubair discovered William Rawlins' heroin traffic, operated by US soldiers. Madani convinced Zubair to testify against them, however, he was kidnapped by the Cerberus Squad before he could make a statement.[15]

Zubair was brought to the disclosed location where Rawlins interrogated him to find out who else knew about the Operation. Under torture, Zubair confessed that he is the only one who knew about them. In order to cover the incident with Zubair, Rawlins labeled him as a terrorist and ordered Frank Castle to execute him and bury his body in the Afghan desert, removed a bullet from his skull.[13]

Ambush in Kandahar

Frank Castle storming the terrorist compound

"Once they get those mortars ranged in, they're gonna pound us into the ground."
"I'm going through that building. Clear a path for an evac."
"You out of your mind?"
"What do you wanna do? You wanna die here? Like a rat in a jar? It's about time I had a fair fight."
Billy Russo and Frank Castle[src]

Eventually, Afghan terrorist groups caught onto Cerberus Squad's tactics and leaked information that a high-ranking terrorist leader was located in Kandahar in an isolated compound. William Rawlins ordered the squad to attack the compound despite the risk of ambush and a terrain unsuited for helicopter evacuation. The battle proved to be a disaster, with Ray Schoonover losing an arm and most of the squad dead or injured. The remaining squad members were saved due to the actions of Frank Castle, who single-handedly fought his way into the compound and killed the insurgents inside.

When returning to base, Rawlins coldly and repeatedly asked the surviving squad members if they eliminated their target, unconcerned with the large casualty rate. Castle proceeded to punch Rawlins in the side of the head hard enough to puncture the orbital socket and blind him in the left eye. With the squad heavily injured and the loss of confidence in Rawlins' leadership, Operation Cerberus shut down soon after. The Cerberus Squad was demobilized and surviving soldiers returned to the United States.[13]

Alternate Universes

Rescue of Tony Stark

"Did you learn any lessons from your time in Afghanistan?"
"I did. Never travel anywhere that doesn't have a Four Seasons."
Harry Whittington and Tony Stark[src]

To be added

Notable Citizens


Appearances for Afghanistan

In chronological order:


External Links