2014 is another crucial year for Afghanistan: after 12 years, the US-led NATO military intervention in the country has entered its final phase, and presidential and provincial elections are scheduled for April. As the bulk of international troops withdraw before the end of the year, the world’s attention is rapidly turning elsewhere. What interest remains in Afghanistan is firmly fixed on military drawdown, security transition and pre-electoral wrangling. Conspicuously lacking is a focus on the daily reality for Afghans, trapped in an escalating conflict—indeed 2013 was reportedly the second most violent year for civilians since 2001.

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