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Meet the Taliban: not as bad as you think

The west knows it can't win in Afghanistan. The only prospect for lasting peace is to negotiate with the Taliban, which we must learn to see through Afghan eyes

Taliban members in Quetta, Pakistan; the Taliban’s governing council, the Quetta shura, formed in the city after the US invasion in 2001

All counterinsurgencies, it is often said, end with negotiations with the enemy. After nine miserable years of fighting in Afghanistan, the signs are that the war there has entered this final phase. It is not before time.

Nato’s strategy is visibly faltering, not least since the unauthorised release of thousands of US military documents on Julian Assange’s Wikileaks website. Washington’s indignation at the way these “war logs” were released was probably justified, but should not distract us…

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