US interference in Afghanistan leaves thousands living in misery
Illegal drug production has exploded since the Nato invasion of 2001, plaguing Afghan society with criminality and addiction.
However the main stumbling block for peace remains the same. The Taliban is refusing to consider any deals while foreign troops remain in the country.
President Obama blackmailed Ghani last year into signing a deal that allows 10,000 US soldiers to remain in Afghanistan.
His refusal would have seen an end to all foreign aid – something that Afghanistan, with its ruined economy, is heavily dependent on.
Women from Helmand displaced by the fighting queue for a food delivery by an NGO (Pic: Guy Smallman)
So with peace a distant hope, the war in rural areas continues. On 1 January a mortar round hit a house hosting a wedding party. It killed over 20 people, mainly women and children.
Ghani has promised a full investigation and harsh reprisals for the soldiers responsible.
Meanwhile the Afghan army lacks the training and technology that its Nato allies had in abundance. This has resulted in more frequent ambushes with the inevitable rise in civilian casualties.