This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
NATO allies officially handed over responsibility to the Afghanistan security forces this past week. President Obama has said that all U.S. combat troops will be out by the end of 2014. In this hour, we'll get several perspectives on what that means for Afghanistan. In a moment, we'll hear from one American businesswoman who left her Kabul business behind after five years.
Michael Semple has been working in Afghanistan for more than 20 years. He is a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. And he joins us now from the studios of WGBH in Boston.
Welcome to the program, Mr. Semple.
MICHAEL SEMPLE: Hello.
MARTIN: So, what does the United States want from talks with the Taliban?
In the years following the U.S. invasion, the Afghan capital teemed with Americans and Europeans. Most of them moved in with the security forces and the United Nations. Others, like Sarah Takesh, came to Kabul for a very different reason - to start businesses. In 2003, just a year after the U.S. invasion, Takesh set up a clothing company, employing Afghan women to embroider skirts and tops. She was optimistic about Afghanistan, as were most Afghans. But by 2008, it felt dangerous.