The Rush of Victory

As the Taliban topples, America is scrambling to foster political stability and to bring in U.N. leadership

With a speed that stunned members of the anti-terror coalition, Northern Alliance rebels in Afghanistan are capturing the country's key cities only a week into a U.S.-backed ground offensive. The decision of the Taliban militia to turn tail has once again shifted the political and military equation in the campaign against terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and his Taliban protectors. Now, with the Taliban fleeing to the mountains, the U.S. and its allies must scramble to fill the political void in Kabul. Job No. 1: putting in place a transitional government that somehow transcends the nation's vicious ethnic and regional rivalries.

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