|Intellectuals and respected Afghan professionals are convinced the west is prolonging conflict to maintain influence in the region|
It's near-impossible to find anyone in Afghanistan who doesn't believe the US are funding the Taliban: and it's the highly educated Afghan professionals, those employed by ISAF, USAID, international media organisations – and even advising US diplomats – who seem the most convinced.
One Afghan friend, who speaks flawless English and likes to quote Charles Dickens, Bertolt Brecht and Anton Chekhov, says the reason is clear. "The US has an interest in prolonging the conflict so as to stay in Afghanistan for the long term."
The continuing violence between coalition forces and the Taliban is simple proof in itself.
"We say in this country, you need two hands to clap," he says, slapping his hands together in demonstration. "One side can't do it on its own."