By MIKHAIL GORBACHEV
Published: February 4, 2010
Cross Post from The New York Times
Afghanistan is in turmoil, with tensions rising and people dying every day. Many of them — including women, children and the elderly — have nothing in common with terrorists or militants.
The government is losing control of its territory: of the 34 provinces, the Taliban controls a dozen. The production and export of narcotics is growing. There is a real danger of destabilization extending to neighboring countries, including the republics of Central Asia as well as Pakistan.
What began after Sept. 11, 2001, as a seemingly appropriate military response aimed at rooting out terrorism could end in a major strategic failure.