Afghan men attend a shura in the Nawa District.

Yesterday’s announcements on troop withdrawals in 2013 are of course welcome, they are a clear sign that we will leave Afghanistan and that there has been great progress in preparing the Afghan security forces to take the lead.

But there is still much to be done there. Afghanistan is far from being a country at peace and there are dangers from many directions. It has be hoped that one of the threats has been quashed: Having lost so many of its leadership through well targeted remote attacks, the threat of the Taliban as a force for evil may now have lost its will for the fight and could now well turn to negotiation and non violent diplomacy as a means to advance its aims. Continue reading