If one was to believe the US UN ambassador Nikki Haley’s latest statement on the war in Afghanistan, it is going well for the US-backed government and the Taliban is moving towards peace. The reality is somewhat different.

The weekend’s bomb blast in Kabul which killed more than 100 people and injured well over 200 came after an attack against the Save the Children's office in Kabul, and last week’s suicide attack against the city’s main five-star hotel. These are not the signs of a war going well or of an enemy ready to concede.

These attacks represent the first wave of the Taliban’s coming Spring offensive. They may also include elements of attacks by Islamic State in Afghanistan but, while the two organisations are not linked, they are both fighting to end the reign of the "democratically elected" Afghan Prime Minister Ashraf Ghani (Afghanistan’s electoral system is notoriously corrupt so notions of "democracy" there are generally seen as moot).