In this week's New Statesman: The triumph of the Taliban

Afghanistan: Ten Years of War special | David Miliband on Labour | Imran Khan on Obama | Joan Didion

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This week's New Statesman is a special issue on Afghanistan: Ten Years of War. Inside, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt presents the reasons why British troops remain in the country, Lucy Morgan Edwards exposes America's betrayal of the Afghan resistance leader Abdul Haq, and Mehdi Hasan speaks to Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan about Obama's "blunders" and the west's faulty perspective on Muslim societies.

Meanwhile, David Miliband reports on his time spent touring British universities at the request of his brother Ed, and shares his insights into the concerns of students today; from fees and Lib Dems to political Islam. Former press secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Pitcher, offers his opinion on the St. Paul's Occupation, and Nicholas Shaxson reveals the role and workings of the City of London Corporation, the covert governing body "[representing] insider capitalism like nothing else on earth".

Also this week, the NS launches a new front section of the magazine, the mini-essay Observations; as well as a new Drink column by Nina Caplan, alternating with a Food column courtesy of Felicity Cloake.

All this, plus Rafael Behr on the populist anger drowning out Ed Miliband, Joan Didion on her new memoir Blue Nights, Peter Wilby on the Desmond/Dacre showdown, and an interview with writer and film-maker Miranda July.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.