Afghan civil war feared as Taleban survive US surge
KABUL (AFP) - With the end of the United States (US) surge in Afghanistan, the Taleban have survived the biggest military onslaught the West will throw at them - and fears are growing that a disastrous new civil war looms.
The last of the extra 33,000 soldiers President Barack Obama deployed nearly three years ago left late last month, and the remaining NATO force of some 112,000 will follow by the end of 2014.
Although a small contingent of foreign troops may remain to conduct counter-terror operations, Western politicians stress that what Obama once called the "good war" will "end" in 2014.
But while the unpopular conflict might end for Nato, some analysts predict a collapse of the Western-backed government and a civil war worse than that in the 1990s when Soviet troops withdrew after their own 10-year occupation.