I think turtle green Afghanistan doesn't fits with Taliban-controlled AfghanistanThe part you are missing is Q-gis, you can import specifc data from OSM directly into Equirectangular projection without the clutter (say just import first and second level administrative divisions, add lakes, river, glaciers and seasonal waters. Then all you need to do is convert this projection with g.projector and trace it while referencing it with the sattelite. I think that explains it clearly but if there is anything still unclear to you please PM me and I can try to walk you through the process in more detail.
If you add these same features to the US map and fix the remainder of the lakes there it should be good. Also would it be possible for you to post a version without the glaciers?
Afghanistan's colour on my map is 90C65B