More diplomacy won’t stop the advance of the Taleban

On 11 August, at Russia’s initiative, an ‘extended troika’ will meet in Doha, Qatar to take stock of the Taleban’s major offensive to take over Afghanistan. The United States, scheduled to withdraw its forces by the end of this month, has been invited to this ‘Moscow format’, as have China and Pakistan. As of yesterday, the violent Islamist group had taken control of six provincial capitals in Afghanistan – though not the most important cities in the country. The US negotiator at Doha, Zalmay Khalilzad has warned that ‘a Taleban government that comes to power through force in Afghanistan will not be recognised.’ But so far the militants have refused