Quote of the day

Our former man in Kabul on our self-defeating strategy in Afghanistan.

The more Taliban we kill, the more difficult in the end it is going to be to negotiate a sustainable settlement. These people were never defeated in 2001, they were pushed down to the south and the east. Until they are brought into the political settlement there won't be peace in Afghanistan.

* Sherard Cowper-Coles, Britain's former envoy to Afghanistan, speaking on the "Today" programme

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.