The Land Where History Repeats Itself As Tragedy

As Nato forces leave and Isis gains ground, Afghanistan continues to fascinate, inspire and dismay the West. We ignore it at our peril

Underrated: Hamid Karzai

The retiring Afghan President who, for all his faults, has defended freedom and democracy

1,001 nights on the Tigris

A truly splendid work of erudition, storytelling and humanity

Hard Lessons of Afghan History

Two new histories of separate conflicts in Afghanistan show that both the Victorians and a young Churchill struggled at the North-Western Frontier

Taliban Tourists

The US army's "catch and release programme" in Afghanistan puts allied troops in grave danger and is destabalising in the long term.

ONLINE ONLY: We’ve Created A Monster

The West has turned to former Afghani drug traffickers to hunt insurgents. But these "covert armies" are producing unpredictable warlords as powerful as the ones they are tracking down.

The Man who Drew the Fatal Durand Line

The British official who fixed the frontier that now divides Afghanistan and Pakistan unwittingly unleashed a century of war

The Surge is Working — So Far

Official voices are unwilling to claim victory, but Nato forces in southern Afghanistan are defeating the Taliban

Playing the Great Game

A new National Theatre play avoids cliché to portray US involvement in Afghanistan

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"