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After al-Qaida attacked the twin towers in New York 20 years ago, the U.S., Europe, China, Russia and even Iran rallied around a rare common cause: To topple a Taliban regime in Kabul that had made Afghanistan a base for international terrorism.

Now that unlikely group of geopolitical rivals find their interests aligned once more, only this time to see those same Taliban leaders restore order in a nation of 38 million whose economic collapse could trigger destabilizing humanitarian and refugee crises.

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