Middle East

December 28, 2009

U.S. intelligence: 'Time is running out' in Afghanistan

As the Obama administration and its European allies face dwindling public and political support for the eight-year-old Afghan war, the Taliban now have what a top intelligence official in Afghanistan called a "government-in-waiting," complete with Cabinet ministers, that could assume power if the U.S.-backed government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai fails. The Taliban now have shadow governors in 33 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, including those in the north, where U.S. and other officials had thought the Islamic extremists posed less of a threat.

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