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Gall's deep knowledge of the region lends authority to the basic argument her book makes about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.
More than 13 years after 9/11, the Afghan war is far from over, even if Washington insists that the U.S. role in it will soon come to an end. Three recent books help explain why, and what Washington needs to do next to protect the gains that have been made.
Every invasion of Afghanistan has eventually come to naught, either because the invaders paid insufficient attention to local culture or because they sought to impose centralized control. If the United States is interested in leaving behind a better Afghanistan than the one it found, it needs to take those experiences to heart.
Ahmed Rashid has it wrong. The Taliban's days are, mercifully, numbered.