The killing will provoke a defiant Taliban response – but it could also provoke a huge internal crisis for the group.
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Washington’s apparent underestimation of Taliban strength and Afghan state weakness amounts to an intelligence failure.
Reduction in violence is a key prerequisite for the Afghan government and the Taliban to sit at the negotiating table.
Trump’s drawdown decision makes Zalmay Khalilzad’s job much more difficult. Fortunately, Washington still has options.
Given Khan’s personality and policy positions, there’s reason to doubt that he is the army’s blue-eyed boy.
The country’s future will largely depend on domestic political considerations in South Asia.