FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 file photo, nn MD 530F military helicopter targets a house where attackers are hiding in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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Vladimir Putin's Russia appears to have emerged as a player in Afghanistan after 17 years of Western involvement that has left the country no closer to peace than before.The Afghan government has said it will not attend, unable to agree on a coherent strategy because of divisions within the government that many see as a function of personal and ethnic rivalries, and calling for the Taliban to first agree to direct talks with Kabul.Specialists who have tracked Afghanistan's four decades of war say navigating the road to peace in this poor nation of 32 million people is like walking through a minefield.Afghanistan's neighbors and competing world powers are only part of the problem of bringing peace to Afghanistan, say analysts, who point to a deeply corrupt and fractious Afghan government and deepening ethnic divisions within the U.S.-crafted Unity government.Since the Unity government took power four years ago, ethnic divisions that have always troubled Afghanistan have deepened.
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