Is Afghanistan headed for a ‘deadlier, more destructive’ civil ...

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Is Afghanistan headed for a ‘deadlier, more destructive’ civil war?

As the US pulls out troops, Ashraf Ghani is meeting warlords amid rising deadly insurgence by the Taliban

Eltaf Najafizada

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani views peace talks with the Taliban as dead and is looking to arm civilians and c-operate with warlords to prevent the militant group from overrunning his administration in Kabul.

Since the weekend the Taliban has captured the capitals of five northern provinces and one in the west, where they met little resistance from the Afghan army. The US military, which has already withdrawn most of its troops ahead of an August 31 deadline to exit the country after 20 years of war, said on Sunday it conducted air strikes in an effort to protect its allies.

Describing the mood in the presidential palace as worse than ever, people with knowledge of the situation said Ghani is feeling increasingly isolated as the US leaves and the Taliban gains diplomatic support from key countries such as Pakistan, Russia and China. His only way out, they said, is to rally Afghan groups opposing the Taliban to band together in an imminent civil war, similar to the situation in the 1990s...

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