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Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, center, speaks during a peace conference at the Presidential Palace, Kabul, June 6, 2017 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).

Afghanistan’s Political Crisis Is as Big a Threat as the Taliban

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

With the Trump White House abdicating decision-making authority over the Afghan war to the Pentagon, it’s only a matter of time until the United States escalates troop levels in Afghanistan again. The security situation in the country is dire, with the Taliban in control of more territory than at any point since the 2001 invasion and momentum on its side. The situation for Afghan civilians remains terrifying, with a spate of recent attacks highlighting how little progress has been made in America’s longest war.

If things weren’t bad enough, Afghanistan is also in the grips of a festering political crisis, as the national unity government frays at the seams over the lack of trust between President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah. To bring the war in Afghanistan, and U.S. involvement in it, to a close under reasonably tenable circumstances, Washington will need to pressure Kabul, Pakistan and the Taliban to negotiate a political settlement. That can only be done if there is a legitimate government in Kabul. ...

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