Retaking the Initiative in Afghanistan, Sort Of

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I don’t want to make too much of Pakistan’s offer to facilitate negotiations with the Taliban, because there are still a lot of directions it can take, and many of them are probably bad. But it bears noting that the shift responds to Islamabad’s concerns over securing its influence in a post-American Afghanistan, and was triggered by the July 2011 timeframe that President Barack Obama set for beginning an American drawdown. That suggests two things. First, the regional actors are taking that timeframe a lot more seriously than most American observers, something that was already apparent in the immediate reaction […]


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