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This week we focus on Afghanistan, with a gloomy report from a correspondent who has returned to the country after an absence of three years. He found that what used to be an insurgency is turning into an insurrection, and was struck by the pessimism of most people he talked to, including those in the American military. Obama has called it a "necessary" war, yet the possibility that the West will fail there is growing.
Here are some other pieces from this week's issue you might also be interested in. You can click straight through to each one and read it online at Economist.com using the links below.