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    BAD NEWS

    Al Qaeda Thrives in Afghanistan

    AP Photo,Brennan Linsley

    Despite a decade of war, a surge of U.S. troops, and attempts to lure their local allies away through negotiation, American and Afghan officials say al Qaeda is on the comeback trail in Afghanistan. The group was largely driven from the country early in the war, but officials say there’s increasing evidence of Arab fighters, which—unlike native Taliban—indicate Osama bin Laden’s fingerprints. That’s bad news for two reasons: For one, al Qaeda is a threat to Western interests outside of the country. But it also suggests that American efforts to push the more locally focused Taliban to divorce itself from al Qaeda and come to the bargaining table aren’t working.