Xibei San Ma
- Defeat your weak enemies in 1936, before they can build up their armies.
- Best doctrines for Afghanistan are Mobility Focus/Human Wave, or Firepower Focus/Grand Battle Plan.
- Build only infantry and cavalry.
- Don't join the Axis. This will lead you to a two front war.
As you see, Afghanistan is not a very powerful nation. On the contrary, it's between two of the world's greatest nations. But there are a few good things. You have 7 divisions, one of them is normal infantry and another is cavalry. Their strength is low, but that's not a problem. Just reinforce them to 100 strength and you have the most powerful army in central Asia. You don't have many resources, but you get enough resources from your motherland. You have surpluses of energy and you can trade it away for supplies. Your state may be isolated by major powers, but I've played HoI2 over one year, and the AI has never attacked Afghanistan. But most things make your game hard. Your slides suck, but it's not a problem, because you never have to hurry playing Afghanistan. Your government's isolationism makes it a bit difficult to declare wars, because your dissent skyrockets in every DoW. Your ministers are also very bad: Muhammed Zahir is an autocratic charmer, which means -10% IC.
Preparing your nation for war!
Your government is extremely bad. Head of state removes -10% IC, security -3% IC and other ministers are useless in war policies. Your sliders also aren't very good for warmaking, because your lobby is almost full dove, and you have zero interventionism. First start moving isolationism-slider towards interventionism. You don't have any ministers you can change to in 1936, but over the next few years you get a few more ministers, and there are some good ones too. Change your minister of security to Carlo Garbasso (prince of terror). He is available in 1938. Always select ministers who increase your IC. You don't care about influencing. You need no friends. Actually, if you join to some alliance this will make you a satellite and your game will be nothing except boring waiting - or it can doom you.
Research and build
You have only one tech team, and it's really bad. Skill level is 1 and components for Human Wave or Grand Battle Plan doctrine. Start researching manufacturing. You have so much manpower that you don't need to take care about it yet. After these research doctrines, go for infantry and cavalry. Also, researching artillery is a good idea. Another good doctrine is Human Wave. It gives high morale, but synchronize publication of Human Wave to peace time, because it lowers your organization -10.
You have to build 'normal' infantry units, which forms the core of your armies. Militias are also good, because you have so little IC. Build and use cavalry as quick-movement troops, that you can use to encircle enemies, break frontlines etc. But remember, that Afghanistan lacks the IC to fight Blitzkrieg. Put your artillery on militia units, that makes them more powerful.
In 1936, you have these seven divisions. Your neigbours, Sinkiang and Persia, have 3 and 2 divisions. Move all your armies to Afghani-Persian border and same time reinforce all your divisions to 100 strength. Also, build money and when you have enough money, cancel non-agression pact and declare war. USSR and UK have guaranteed Persia, but normally they don't declare war. If they now declare war, start new game. Put your cavalry in one unit and other divisions to 3 divisions corps. Your cavalry can now quickly storm in southern Persia and take southern and western victory points. Infantry will assault to west, capture victory points and then defeat weak Persian forces what are moving to battle. Their organization is low after marching and you probably have 1:6 superiority. Don't fight frontline war in Persia, just take victory points and annex.
After annexing Persia turn around and move all your troops to Sinkiang border. Your dissent is pretty high after declaration of war, so try low it building consumer goods. Don't wait that all your dissent has gone, because this time Sinkiang build divisions and defeating them will be harder. Declare war when all your divisions are 100 strength and ready to attack. Sinkiang has not very big army and you only can push your forces to Urumqi. Then annex.
You now have have about 10 IC, but you can use only portion of it. Now you have years of time to build up. Build enough consumer goods that your dissent is again zero. You can try to conquer Tibet and Yunnan clique (before Yunnan joins to Chinese united front). Build new divisions and prepare for war...
Against Soviet Union
Germans DoW USSR in 1941. Wait that they conquer all big cities, like Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow, Kiev etc. Wait that Red army is almost destroyed and Germans attacking over Ural and Caucasus. Then declare war, right year would be some 1943. If you can take Baku oilfields, it's great thing, but declaring war so early will almost surely condemn you to die. But in Central Asia there's enough to conquer anyway. From Sinkiang you can push on Soviet satellites in Far East.