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NEW YORK — The United States and its Afghan and NATO allies have demonstrated unmistakable progress in Afghanistan this year. The ongoing Marjah campaign, the arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and two Taliban “shadow governors” in Pakistan, and the recent drone strike hitting top leaders of the al-Qaida- affiliated Haqqani network are all clear steps in the right direction.

But no matter what other progress is made, America and its allies cannot succeed in Afghanistan unless the Afghan government succeeds — and that government is moving in the wrong direction. Until this changes, all other efforts will ultimately be in vain and current levels of international engagement with Afghanistan will become unjustifiable.

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