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In the News Taliban Rising

October 28, 2008

“We have to think of Afghanistan as a much longer term project, and a much harder project, than even the fight in Iraq.”
Lt. Col. John Nagl, Author, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife

Of all the foreign policy challenges facing the new president in January, none will be more daunting than Afghanistan. After three decades of brutal civil war and foreign occupation, the country is today one of the world's most dysfunctional and dangerous hotspots, a toxic mix of al Qaeda insurgency, tribal conflict, narco-trafficking, and failed state lawlessness.

And to top it all off: the Taliban. Seven years after they were driven from power, they are back, stronger, some say, than ever, and not about to be routed again. This week on FRONTLINE, producer Marcela Gaviria and correspondent Martin Smith offer a harrowing look at a part of the world that will put the new American commander-in-chief to one of his first and most difficult tests.

This excerpt from the film, called The War Briefing, chronicles the remarkable resurgence of the Taliban, and affords a glimpse of the hard choices the U.S. faces in dealing with them. The complete film can also be seen online.

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