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Losing Afghanistan: Clerics now openly support the Taliban

KABUL — The occupation, they say, has actively encouraged a litany of personal and political ills in an effort to weaken the bedrock of society: Islam. Far from being radical, their message is part of a mainstream demand for the creation of an independent state that would impose corporal punishment, stricter dress codes for women and greater censorship of the media.

Afghan surge: Obama’s great gamble comes to an end

KABUL — Almost three years after US President Barack Obama vowed to "seize the initiative" with a surge of US forces to Afghanistan, his great gamble has come to an end. The final remnants of those extra troops departed last week, leaving behind a country still wracked by violence and bitterly divided, and still unsure of what those soldiers achieved.
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