Cutting-edge British publication the Guardian is at the heart of determined reporting. Its latest exclusive involves British General Nick Carter and his opinion on Afghanistan talks which would include the Taliban. The General believes that talks should have been held 10 years ago, when the Afghan war was in its infancy, a time when the Taliban were on the run.
Britain still has around 9,000 troops in Afghanistan and the death toll for UK soldiers serving in the country is 444.
General Nick Carter, deputy commander of the Nato-led coalition, said Afghan forces would need western military and financial support for several years after western combat troops head home in 2014. And he said the Kabul government may have to accept that for some years it would have only shaky control over some remoter parts of the country.
Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, he said: "Back in 2002, the Taliban were on the run. I think that at that stage, if we had been very prescient, we might have spotted that a final political solution to what started in 2001, from our perspective, would have involved getting all Afghans to sit at the table and talk about their future."
Hindsight of course is a wonderful thing, as Carter acknowledges. Whether there were calls to hold inclusive talks in 2002 is unknown. His assessment of the situation is that for sometime the issues in Afghanistan have been political and the only way to address them is with debate.
Talks between the relevant parties, including the Taliban, stalled again this week.
The Taliban ran Afghanistan before foreign forces invaded, following 9/11 in the USA. Afghans lived under a tough regime and women were kept squarely in their place; the place that the Taliban thought they should occupy. Women had few rights, little freedom and zero chance of education.
According to Wikipedia: The stated aim of the Taliban was to create a "secure environment where the chasteness and dignity of women may once again be sacrosanct, reportedly based on Pashtunwali beliefs about living in purdah.
This resulted in public floggings for women who flouted Taliban law, and in some cases execution. Some girls received education at secretive "underground" schools but most remained ignorant. During the war the West has made much of Taliban extremism and its restrictive form of government, promising to improve the lives of locals, especially women and children.
The war has dragged on for 12 years and whatever the original mission, it is long forgotten. The Guaridan report claims that:
Critics have long argued that the west could have struck a deal with moderate Taliban leaders after ousting the group from power in 2001, perhaps saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
Afghanistan and its ultimate outcome should stand as a lesson to the west. Foreign invasion and war is sometimes the only way. Without such actions parts the west would be living under a German regime, rather than the financial grip of the EU and Merkel's Germany. If Hitler had been allowed to continue who knows how we would be living today?
However, whilst there is the right time to step in and say enough is enough, we must learn when and where to draw the line.
The Afghanistan war has resulted in too many deaths, military and civilian, and a destabilized region. It must end but how is tricky. The problem is, are we going to allow the Taliban to inflict its harsh regime on the men, women and children of Afghanistan again?
If the answer is yes then the Afghanistan war has been in vain.