Political Settlement with the Taliban?

June 20, 2011

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recently confirmed that “preliminary contacts” with Afghan Taliban guerrillas have been established, in the hope of working towards a peace deal with the various Islamist insurgent groups operating in Afghanistan, perhaps mediated by Pakistan.

Better to decentralize the government and the police and give power to local tribes. The dichotomy of Karzai vs. Taliban is thinking inside of the box. For America to end it’s occupation of Afghanistan the natural local alliances must be worked in.
propose the following decentralized substructure that works more along the lines of traditional organization of Pashtun society, drawing from the example of the long and largely peaceful reign of King Zahir Shah. His 40-year rule (1933-1973) was mainly due to a strategy of co-optation of and co-operation with village society.
Read the whole plan.  see how the mistakes in Afghanistan parallel the mistakes in Iraq 

U.S. meeting with the Taliban to "explore" "peace"

May 27, 2011
Taliban fighters stand alongside kidnapped Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak
…minutes before he was beheaded...Reuters photo….

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (NYT) — American officials have met with a senior aide to the fugitive Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, at least three times in recent months in the first direct exploratory peace talks, officials in the region said.
The meetings have been facilitated by Germany and Qatar, but American officials have been present each time, meeting with Tayeb Agha, who is a close personal assistant to Mullah Omar, the officials said. The C.I.A. and the State Department have been involved in the meetings, one official said.
The meetings were first reported by The Washington Post last week and the German magazine Der Spiegel this week. A senior Afghan official and Western officials working in the region confirmed the reports on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to talk to the news media about the issue.
Begun well before the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, the meetings represent a clear shift in the attitude of the Obama administration toward peace talks with the Taliban, first signaled by a speech in February by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Western officials said. In that speech Mrs. Clinton said that previous requirements for starting talks could instead be considered “desired outcomes,” opening the way to exploratory meetings without preconditions. via bokertov.typepad.com