The state-building endeavor in Afghanistan came to the brink in 2008 with the Taliban insurgency taking control of some southern districts, high poppy production fueling the illicit economy, widespread charges of corruption, and a looming humanitarian disaster. Afghans increasingly became disillusioned by high civilian casualties and the government's failure to provide improved socioeconomic conditions. By year's end, there was also increased pressure for negotiations with moderate Taliban elements.

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