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2012 was a tough year for Afghanistan. 2013 will be tougher

KABUL — Attempts to negotiate with the insurgents have proved unsuccessful so far, but there are tentative signs that could change.

Afghanistan: For ex-Taliban, it's peace or death

KABUL, Afghanistan — Mawlawi Pir Mohammed Rohani is just one of several former Taliban leaders who left the movement behind after the US-led invasion, only to see it flourish without them. Still fond of their old associates and sympathetic toward the insurgency, they find themselves caught in a dangerous limbo. Their only hope lies in practically forgotten peace negotiations.

Afghanistan's thriving civil society is getting worried

KABUL — With NATO troops leaving Afghanistan after more than a decade, a new dawn is again approaching. Some are worried that one of the few tangible achievements of the US-led occupation — the building of a thriving civil society — may be lost.

Afghanistan: Missing George W. Bush

KABUL — Whoever wins the US presidential election will have to deal with a huge problem that’s barely been mentioned on the campaign trail: Afghanistan. Relations with the Afghan government first began to seriously deteriorate four years ago, when US President Barack Obama came to power. Karzai enjoyed a close personal rapport with former president George W. Bush, which has never existed with Obama.

Afghanistan: Taliban fear grips once peaceful Parwan province

PARWAN, Afghanistan — Not far from the largest US military base in Afghanistan, the Taliban is making major inroads.

Afghanistan: A former US ally says a new conflict looms

KABUL — With the Taliban insurgency raging across much of Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance says old divisions are threatening to plunge the nation deeper into the mire.

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.

North Waziristan: The problem no one wants to talk about

KABUL — Afghanistan’s ultimate demise may be gaining strength in North Waziristan, an area of northwest Pakistan ruled by militants sympathetic to the Taliban.

Afghans fear conflict will escalate long after it ends for America

KABUL, Afghanistan — The doubts that always clouded the NATO mission here have assumed a grim finality for many Afghans now that the end is in sight. Time is running out for the key issues to be resolved, they say, and they fear the conflict will escalate for them long after it ends for America. And so all the interested parties — politicians, civilians and insurgents — are now maneuvering themselves into position for a post-US future.
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