Ukraine is the legacy of Afghanistan

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One year ago, Western forces withdrew entirely from Afghanistan, leading to the fall of Kabul into the hands of the Taliban. That was a mistake. Vladimir Putin saw this as a sign of American decline and invaded Ukraine, thinking there would be a limited reaction. That was also an error. NATO, led by the USA, is today stronger than it has been for at least 30 years. This, in turn, is sending a strong message to China and Xi Ji Ping, argues Sir Malcolm Rifkind.   Afghanistan had been deeply divided for much of its history. It still is. The civil war might have stopped, but large parts of the population are not reconciled to permanent Taliban control of the country. The Taliban draw their support mainly from the 42% of the population who are Pashtun.  The Tajiks, Hazara, Uzbeks and others have their own leaders and culture and are demanding power-sharing; so far, they are not getting it. Taliban power, which followed the American and Western exodus from the country last year, was intensel…

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