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Afghanistan confirmed its historical role as a graveyard of empires, as the US and its allies departed with haste in August, leaving behind fearful millions of Afghans after a botched exercise in nation-building. Global reputations lie in tatters but a few players have enhanced their reputations, led by Qatar which has made itself useful to all the main actors. Meanwhile the Taliban takeover in Kabul provides another litmus test for geopolitical relationships and popular sentiments across the region.
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