Richard Holbrooke, one of the leading American diplomats charged with clearing the mess created by Bushs invasion of Afghanistan, breathed his last following a heart surgery in Washington. His last words, 'fighting must end in Afghanistan are golden words. As the US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan who had gone deep into the issue, and with the experience of concluding peace in Vietnam and Bosnia, he should know the perils of a continued war. No doubt, the Afghan conundrum proved quite problematic for him. Solution lies in ending the war and vacating the aggression. The Americans are jittery about finding an exit strategy but in their confusion they seem to be aggravating the situation, as they are not clear how to go about the reconciliation process. The policy of supporting subservient Afghan dummies has neither worked in the past nor does it stand any chance of success in future. Far from a puppet set-up like the Karzai administration, only a representative government has the potential to bring order. Currently, the Afghans ought to be gathered under one tent. It is high time the US bade farewell to the destructive strategy of divide-and-rule with groups like the Northern Alliance on the one hand, and the Pakhtuns and other factions of the resistance on the other. There is urgent need to strengthen the Loya Jirga and negotiate with the elders of major tribes. Meanwhile, the US military continues with its destructive operations and with the induction of bleeding edge technology like XM25 rifle, called a game changer, it is clear that it is still under the impression that brute force will bring success. In this backdrop, it appears that the American intention is to leave behind a country fractured by infighting. Having experienced the failure of taming the Afghan nation through military means, the US administration should earnestly work on finding a negotiated settlement of the imbroglio. How it wraps up the war would have global repercussions.