With violence spiking in Afghanistan, there is growing talk in Kabul, London and Washington that a military victory over the Taliban may not be possible. Some are even beginning to suggest the once unthinkable: that it may be time to open talks with the insurgents.

That assessment comes as Afghan and coalition forces rush to the southern part of the country to counter what appears to be a major assault by insurgents on Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city. It also comes as the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan reached 106 with the death of four soldiers on June 17.

Earlier this...

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