January 27th, 2010
11:23 AM ET

Your view: Negotiating with the Taliban

One of the focuses of the London Conference on Afghanistan on Thursday will be how to reach a peace with at least some Taliban fighters.

Is it possible? Reader Richard writes, "The only way to effectively negotiate with the Taliban to treat them the way they treat others...mercilessly."

But other readers say it's feasible: "I believe the Afghani Taliban are a rare group that can be negotiated with," says Melanie. "Both sides should sit down, have a healthy meal with good tea and coffee, show respect in speech and actions, and the results will be a miracle."

What do you think? Is negotiating with the Taliban a good idea? Can a peace ever be met with the Taliban? Can lower level Taliban leaders be brought into the political and social fabric of Afghanistan?

Filed under: London conference • Your View
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. fran mars

    If they NATO would just put afghanastan back to tribal areas it would probably stop the taliban. Tribal allegiance is probably sytonger than national allegience. Iraq should be split into three countries again. after 8 constitutions its time for then to return to Shiite area, Sunni area and Kurdish area. do it already........

    February 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nathanael [desert voice]

    The King of Saudi Arabia should be commended for asking Taliban to send Bin Laden into exile. This is a necessary step for Taliban to take, if their group wants to achieve peace without more bloodshed. For the exiling of Bin Laden may be a small price to pay for saving thousands of Taliban jihadists from unnecessary death when the Marines descend on Afghanistan in Spring. Much attention has not been given to this in the media, but I see a possibility that Bin Laden could seek political asylum in Myanmar, for example. Iran could also be a choice. This would free Afghanistan for massive Saudi economic assistance, which would make Afghanistan the pride of Central Asia!

    February 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JOHN

    Neogotiating with terrorists! Haven't we tried that in the past! Training and selling arms to countries only later to get bitten in the ass! Negotiating with terrorists is the wrong answer! We need to get rid of the terrorists in the U.S. first i.e. gangs and drug dealers!

    February 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Garoos

    The idea of negotiating with the taliban as manufactured and sold to the west by hamid karzai will not work and karzai himself knows it. Karzai was only trying to be clever by half in his bid to make money out of America and its allies.
    No real taliban will come to the negotiating table with karzai or any foreign backed negotiator and if ever a taliban comes to that table, he is coming with his suicide vest securely hidden in his body.
    For the taliban to agree to even talk they sadi foreign forces must leave. OK in that case America should think of negotitating with the taloban only when it starts a drawdown of its troops and then a neutral person or foreign body can be appointed as mediator. Kofi annan though a former UN chief may be a choice that the taliban may accept to speak to but only if they see an indication that foreign forces have started leaving.
    Dubya turned everything upside down by using military power which has not worked. We should have constructively engaged the taliban and allowed them be as rulers of Afghnistan, then assist them massively with humanitarian aid, bring them into international affairs through the UN and then use them to eliminate Al Qaeda. The problem is Alqaeda and not the taliban. Taliban is not Alqaeda and viceversa. I believe that the taliban will never step back on their condition that foreign forces must leave. So if you want them to talk, show some signs that you are leaving.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nathanael [desert voice]

    Diane Marie, you are right that no one ought to negotiate with fanatics. No one is, to my understanding, and no one better be. This is why I dislike Karzai, who calls all Taliban "his brothers," without discriminating between unintended Taliban and bloody killers.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Amir Shirazi

    The question begs to be answered. Why are we there? Why are we fighting the Taliban?
    Osama BiN Laden is not there and other than losing billions of dollars,countless american and Afghan lives what has been accomplished in 8 years. Obama will be well served to act on the promise of change. Pull us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Force the Israeli's to the negotiation table , return land for peace and that would do so much more for disarming the radicals and bring to Israel the peace and recognition it so badly wants.

    We should have never been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seems like we never learn from past mistakes. Bush and the Neocons had their ulterior motives for doing so. For Obama to continue this path is to ensure he will be a one term wonder and give back congress and the presidency to the republicans.
    Just make the best deal you can and get the hell out. Consentrate on Alquida leadership via drones and special forces. Create jobs, lower the defecit and get as far away from militarism as possible. Obama, please make us believe again.

    February 2, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |


    February 2, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stu

    Having lived and worked in Helmand Province, as a civilian humanitarianin 2007/8, for 8 months, I believe that the Taliban must be included in the political process. Otherwise there is no hope for a workable solution. The Taliban are part of the reality of Afghanistan. The local elders are long weary of war. "Let us get on with life for our families and future.", a common theme up and down the Helmand River Valley. A challenge is to assure that the outside non-Afghan foreign fighters do not scuttle the potential. Another challenge is to control the war lords, old and aspiring, so they do not fill any vacuum. Karzai is weak in local support. He would not last without NATO/U.S. support. How to remedy that? Training an Afghan army and police who are above local politics and not "available" to the highesgt bidder is a serious challenge.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. polondia

    Mind our own business and retrain the 10% unemployed in America. Let thy people go, oh Pharoah

    February 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cindy

    "there is no negotiating with dire fanatics"

    true, true and unrelated.

    These mutitude of tribes are mainly based on people who just want to live quiet lives and are moderates. We are negotiating with them.

    Its like saying you can't negotiate with any Christian in the US because we allow the the Aryan nation who states they are Christian based to coexist with us.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alex

    It depends. If we want to get out of Afghanistan...ever, it's going to be a combination of military might and negotiation. In a country as direly poor and ravaged by war as Afghanistan, people do what they must to feed themselves and their famlies: if that means growing and selling poppies, so be it; if that means fighting for the Taliban because they pay a living wage, so be it. Were I in the same situation, I would also consider these (ugly) choices.

    That said, there are Taliban who are guys there for a check, and guys who are there to set up an Islamic state, and still other guys who want to set up an *oppressive* Islamic state. Getting out is going to require talking to the first two – the last group will never talk with us "crusaders" anyway. That's what the military might is for. Yes, talking with those who want an Islamic state will probably be complicated and lead to political opposition, but the point is that opposition will be *political* – not military, not terrorist. It's become so easy in the US to paint those who don't like our policies, those who feel occupied, and those who genuinely seek terror with the exact same brush (see comments above), but nothing's ever that clear or clean. As with Iraq, the political solution will be long, ugly, and likely fraught with danger and violence but will, gradually, get better. The trick is to pull back our forces, while still propping up the government throughout the fragile coalition phase, so that the house of cards doesn't come tumbling down should we just abandon Afghanistan to its fate.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Diane Marie

    There is no negotiating with dire fanatics who live to die. For one thing, negotiation presums that both sides have something to contribute toward a compromise. But, how do you compromise with men who won't be happy until they once again get to beat up old women and girls in the streets? That's where their side of the negotiations would begin. Do we then counter with, "Well, what if you could still beat up women but only on odd days of the month"? Absurd.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jay Nero

    the talibans agression towards the u.s. is based on religious conflict. any negotiation would only serve to waste time and money, accomplishing nothing more than buying us time. the conflict would continue shortly after.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Daniel Boone

    Yes the Taliban have been patient and gotten what they wanted , the failer of the US and NATO to bring peace and a stable legitimate Government to the region. Time has run out for NATO and nogotiations are the only way out for the US and NATO, but I am afraid that even with nogtiations that this WAR will continue anyway. The Taliban shadow government has spread to every corner of the country. STOP the madness now and leave Afghanistan to the Taliban .

    February 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Billb166

    THERE ARE DEGREES OF "TALIBANNESS" No, we cannot trust nor negotiate with the hard core taliban. But every political movement has followers who are not as committed as the leaders. Draw off the ones who are in it for pragmatic or financial reasons, and the fanatical ones will not have the troops they need to succeed. The idea is to deflate the taliban by decreasing their numbers. A time honored, realistic strategy that every conqueror from Alexander the Great to Ghengis Khan followed.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  16. bashir ahmad noory

    negotiating whit the insurgents and fandamantelists is noting but a clear sense of surrounding to them, afghan nation will never forgive karzai if he brings the enemies of the country to the political system.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  17. neocon2010

    1) bring troops home
    2) close our borders
    3) concentrate intelligence/military on hunting down sleepers within our borders

    Can I be President, please?

    February 1, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  18. Smitty

    How can you even begin to suggest that we, "sit down over coffee and be respectful in words and actions", with people who are ruthless enough to cut off the heads of americans on live television. You must be out of your mind! The only respect i would show them would be a 5 second warning before we drop a bomb on their front door step.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  19. Derek

    This is simple; negotiate with those who are willing to listen. The Taliban are not a terrorist organization and they have a permanent presence in much more of Afghanistan than the sitting, US-recognized government (over 70%).

    More and more they want nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, and have focused their recent, current, and future plans on a more nationalist platform that has mitigated the influence of foreigners like mujahideen who travel to Afghanistan to "fight the crusaders".

    Was the US ever sincere about wanting democracy in Afghanistan? The Bush administration had no problems, while being fully aware of the human rights violations of the Taliban regime, negotiating with them in June 2001 about possible oil pipelines. The Karzai government is not respected nor really even recognized by the people in Afghanistan.

    It is a corrupt group, and Afghanis have to pay significant amounts of bribe money to the government every year; this is hardly pragmatic. Are the Taliban ideal? No. But, they can provide the stability needed to quell a lot of the violence, and they have the support of most of the people. They are refusing any further "alliances" with foreign terrorist organizations, and that is far more than the US or the current Afghan government can attest.

    Under US occupation, and the current "democratic" government, violence has risen – as has the influence of the Taliban. How can it happen when the people seemed so relieved to be rid of them? Because nation-building is a venture based in idealist political thought.

    An oppressor provides unmistakable stability. When you take that away, you need to have a damn good plan. The Bush administration had no such plan for Afghanistan (or Iraq for that matter). That is where the bullet hits the foot from the outset.

    Just like Hamas in the Palestinian Territories is becoming a more viable, though less than ideal, political force that needs to be negotiated with, the Taliban are becoming something of the same in Afghanistan because the issues that they can address have not been addressed by either the US or its implanted government.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  20. Les Grove

    There is absolutely no way you can negotiate with the Taliban. Even discussing such an option gives them hope. They will violate any agreement, when it suits them. It is just another tacktic in their plan.

    February 1, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  21. Alkali

    This war is like a booby trap that was set up by Bin laden and his partners for America and its allies and it looks like the west is increasingly moving into that trap. I donot think any countyr should decide for another country what kind of hair ccut they should have or the sort of clothes they should wear or they must have pubs in their land. Every country should be allowed to live the kind of live it wants to.
    Despite the lessons of Iraq, we are still moving further and further into another failure. The earlier all U.S troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan the better. If we had engaged the taliban while they qwere in power as partners and helped them with humanitarina assistance i am sure they will have helped us fight and completely erase AlQaeda from the map. The menace for the west is Al Qaeda not the taliban. The taliban are just a socio political organisation that is interested only in establishing their own government and law in Afghanistan. They will not harbour Al Qaeda if they have a mutual beneficial understanding with the western world rather they will identify Al Qaeda as an enemy of progress.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  22. subhana

    honestly, it's about time the US + its allies realize that they can never win the war in Afghanistan. negotiating with the taleban sounds reasonable!

    February 1, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  23. Abubakar

    I believe it is possible to negotiate with the taliban but there has to be a genuine process of negotiation. The karzai government and those behind the negoitaionhave chosen the wrong option by offering money to the taliban for them to lay down their arms. This option is completely wrong and will not work because the taliban are not in it for money. They are in it for their ideology hence if you want to get them on board, you need to target their ideology. They will never take money because they have the believe that if they do so, they are not only foresaking their struggle for nothing but they wlll also go to hell because they have offended God by taking BRIBE.
    The only thing that i think MAY make the taliban think of negotiating is a power sharing option which of course has it's inherent risks to the karzai government and NATO. There is nothing like moderate taliban it is either they are taliban or they are not. This option will only create an opportunity to make money for some afghans who will pose as taliban even if it only to collect their share. Moreover karzai's government has been established by its donors as corrupt and ineffective, then why give by this idea of paying the taliban from such a government at such a ridicolous amount of money.?. This is not a war to be fought and won with weapons or money, rather it is war of ideology and can only be won by winning hearts and minds.
    There is a lot of confusion in this war because yesterday weapons were used for the war and so many innocent lives were killed on both sides and today it is money which is not likely to work. Tomorrow we donot know what sort of strategy will be used.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  24. Jeff Atkerson

    How do you negotiate with someone who's starting point is "here is an american I need to kill".

    February 1, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  25. Jerry Rig

    Why should we give in or negotiate with drug war lords ? The opium is fueling world wide heroin use and the Taliban call them selves religious ?Please , it ain't so ! They use the proceeds to finance their side of this war. Karsai is with em . Lets get a grip here , Pound em !

    February 1, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  26. eddy berry

    No Chance. Our troops and country did not sacrifice for nothing. Karsai is crooked and can't be trusted which is why he wants to talk to terrorists. Keep up the pressure for now . Turn up the heat so that they want to negotiate not Karsai.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  27. Sam

    Never negoiate with the Taliban. Cut their heads off and feed them to pigs.

    January 31, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lorraine

    I'm a firm believer in: Make Love..........not War.

    Think of the lives that have been lost, people maimed for life, broken dreams...
    what have we got to lose? With 'talk' ... there is hope!

    January 31, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  29. geo88a

    Negotiate with the Taliban? Only if we send bombs disguised as money!

    January 31, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Anthony

    Try and initiate the talk and provide guidelines too that everyone has a right to talk and pinion and respect others. Bear in mind that you might agree to disagree on many points then stop there. Open another meeting soon. In the end you will have to decide and whether agree on it or not. Agree not to use force and that God alone will judge. After all we are just pilgrims on the journey. let our journey be one of LOVE.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Karen

    The Taliban have made it clear since the beginning that they are not interested in making deals. They want control of Afghanistan back and will settle for nothing less. Thinking they care reasonable men is foolishness.
    Furthermore, to make any deal allowing the Taliban to become part of the Afghanistan government is to continue the brutal treatment of women and girls with the west's consent- shameful at best.

    January 31, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Alex

    I think negiotiating with the Taliban is the only way there will be a hopefully long-term global peace. Western governments have to respect that there are alternatives to forcing their form of democracy on traditionally tribal countries. The Taliban is not all terrorists and extremists anymore than Dubya represented the whole of the US. Let's reason and negotiate like we would any other group.

    January 31, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  33. LESLIE

    we are no more able to talk to the hard core taliban then we could with ant extremist group. such as our extreme christian right or skinheads etc. they need to be eliminated so the afghan people can make their own lives. read 3 cups of tea about greg mortinson to find out what afghans think of the taliban.h

    January 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  34. christiane

    its absurd to believe that the Taliban will cease to conquer ..I lived in Afghanistan in Kunduz with my husband who worked for the UN..I love the Afghan people and know that they live by fear alone of these monsters.
    dont negotiate .dont give them money.

    January 31, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Essie Rahbari

    You dont negotiate with radicals. You couldn't and didn't negotiate with Nazi's, what makes you think you can do this with animals like Taliban? I am Iranian and I know of the failures of US policies first hand. Carter left Iran to the Islamic republic and see what you have now. The problem is 99% of Americans have no clue how these people leave and how they think. Americans think that these radicals somehow have the same morals and values as the West, so they try to apply their own logic to the decision making. It doesn't work. The only way you will eradicate the Taliban is to kill them ruthlessly and at will, treat them like a cancer and eradicate them like animals that they are. These people only understand force and respect it as well. Once you kill enough of them then you can pay the rest off to keep them quite but still kill them afterward s. After that you can try to re-brain wash the population through education and yes through fear and misinformation until the tide turns. Use the CIA and stay the coarse until the job is done. What are you thinking? Negotiate dumbest idea. These are not Iraqis. Iraqis are a very educated society you had a chance. Not the the Taliban

    January 31, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  36. david shaikh

    Simple solution is, all the forces including USA forces should come out from Afagansitan, let them do what ever they want, we should help them.

    January 31, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |

    Pull all forgein troops out of Afghanistan. Let who ever wants to rule there country rule it. But we give them just one warning, If you ever attack the United States, Its allies or its intrest we WILL turn your beautiful country into glass(via nukes) then drop a rock to break the glass and let life begin anew.

    January 31, 2010 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  38. Basir Feda

    This is an extremely complicated issue given the Taliban history in Afghanistan. While military action has failed in Afghanistan and re-conciliation seems to be inevitable, the planned strategy of President Karzai could invite political tension originating from groups such as Hazaras, Uzbeks and others who have greatly suffered at the hands of the Taliban. I doubt that a political will which fully supports the idea exists. I think the best way to re-integrate Taliban as members of a peaceful community is to improve and push for good governance, demand-driven, long term and fundamental economic development, education and a proper justice system can give the Afghan government an upper hand and isolate the Taliban leadership as I am sure that with an improvement in the sectors I mentioned above would automatically facilitate the re-integration of middle and low ranks of the Taliban. With the international community funding huge quick impact projects with little hope for sustainability and huge corruption both on the part of international donors as well as the Afghan government, Karzai's new strategy of talks with the Taliban is meaningless. The implementation of the planned strategy seems almost impossible to me.

    January 31, 2010 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  39. Sam

    Oh gee, no, let's not negotiate with people who want to decimate us. Let us just fold out arms in front of us, stomp our feet and turn our heads away.....because, that has worked so well. We, the world, need to make decisions based on intelligence and human nature instead of using real danger to manipulate a political base. Let us keep our military and defenses there, of course. But, at the same time, try to understand why these people are still active and how we can get into their world and change their views. Maybe we need to change some of our views, as well.

    January 31, 2010 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  40. Daniel

    It's idiotic to think we can negotiate with the Taliban,

    January 31, 2010 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  41. Jon

    The only thing they understand is fighting, glass them over and be done with it. That's how 9/11 should have been dealt with. Glassed over 1 or 2 cities, and issued a statement. "You knock down our buildings, kill our people, or generally look at us with anything short of a smile, and this is what you can expect".

    January 31, 2010 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  42. RPM

    why would someone even concider talk"s ? fact, talks meens

    that the united states would have to do a policy change. the taliban

    are a group of well put together power seekers. look how well

    talks have gone in the past.! the taliban had to pay for 9/11. that act of

    terrisiom was more or equal to the scar of perl harbor. if you have seen

    or experinced the hand of these selfish people, then the thought

    of talks should make your blood boil.

    January 31, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  43. Ryan

    Its all about leverage of the situation. This will determine who gets most out of the deal. I say only negotiate only for the heads of the prime leaders. 🙂

    January 31, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  44. Widowmaker

    Do you seriously think after killing so many people in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Taliban would be willing to negotiate, i really doubt it. There is so much hatered and anger accumulated over 9 yrs of war, that makes impossible to come to the negotiating table. For instance Afghanistan was a a month war tops and Iraq was a 1 week war. And we are still counting.....

    January 30, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  45. emilia

    To negotiate with a country means just that and therefore if reasonable concessions and/or agreements cannot be reached, the negotiation is troncated. Why not try it?

    January 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  46. ALIA khan

    People here in west are so influenced by the media against Taliban that they believe the media without thinking or using their own brain, Who are we, we are not Afghans and even with the recent US military reports Taliban are running Shadow governments in 80% of Afghanistan, what it tells you, because people of Afghanistan loves them and want them back to run the country on pure Islamic laws I was watching CNN and all the ordinary people without any hesitation has confirmed that they prefer Taliban rule where justice was swift and quick, come on people of the west don't be in delusions of your military might you will never defeat Taliban let respect the Afghans and leave their country to save your defeat and shame if not a big surprise is waiting for you– great defeat of all times of the world power by Taliban and remember they will never negotiate against their principals ..

    Alia Khan,Calgary,Canada

    January 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Bobby Dickson

    Negotiate with the Taliban,

    A good way to have yourself blown up by a suicide bomber! Can you trust anyone who deliberately kills innocent civilians? The only capability they have is to plant roadside bombs and attack high value targets that attract press! The destruction of their leadership is paramount to re-building Afghanistan! Until that happens lawlessness will continue to prevail in the country! And sooner or later you will have to deal with them again!

    Bobby D.

    January 30, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  48. SamRam

    "My brothers, seek counsel of one another, for therein lies the way out of error and futile repentance. The wisdom of the many is your shield against tyranny. For when we turn to one another for counsel we reduce the number of our enemies. He who does not seek advise is a fool. His folly blinds him to Truth and makes him evil, stubborn, and a danger to his fellow man."

    ~Kahlil Gibran of Lebanon~

    January 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Saeed

    Yes the two should negotiate together. The Taliban had no intention or operation against anyone outside their country. Regarding their actions against the Afghan population, they should commit to democracy in which people freely choose the laws they want in place, with no intimidation.

    January 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Lekan

    World War II: If USSR/USA option against Hitler is possible against the Taliban, of course use it. If USA option against the Japanese is possible against the Taliban; please use it urgently and end the war. But if those options are not possible/feasible then go straight/quickly and negotiate with Taliban. But these Talibans; are they irritants we have to live with?

    January 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  51. ruben

    since the soviet live this country we fail to this people what the mayority of this people dream for is civilization, simple things like notebook and pencil, a place where to work or a decent place where to buy groceries this is probably their daily prayer. the network of services that this warrios had have create, what i think this group want is to be include in the goverment affair this people want it to be a party. invest that money in the community where their wife and kids live, see what the daily struggle lean on then you can call for their disarming. God be with you all

    January 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Richardfrom Chicago

    The Taliban are absolutists. There can be no compromise on their values which are incompatible with ours.

    The only good Taliban is a dead Taliban.

    How would it have worked out if we compromised with Hitler? Just ask Neville Chamberlain how that worked out for him. The only thing that will work in the long run is a merciless campaign to slaughter all that adhere to their extremist beliefs. If we are not willing to do that for the 3000 murdered Americans on 11 Sep, then we should get out of there and make a bunch more body bags to reserve for domestic use when they ultimately return here.

    January 30, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  53. Bryon Brittingham

    Of course negotiate. A peaceful solution should always be sought. And compromises will have to be made if the killing is to stop. If the Afghan people were so anti-Taliban and so pro-Karzai (pro-West), there would not be a conflict at all. Perhaps the people of Afghanistan would like the opportunity to solve their own problems and find their own solution. So, negotiation for the withdrawal of Western forces (for they are not pro-Islam and I'm sure thats what most of the Afghan people might like) should begin as soon as possible.

    January 30, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  54. John

    Where are all the other Islamic countries that believe the Taliban are bad? Why aren't they doing anything to preserve their religous beliefs? Why isn't Saudi Arabia stepping in? UAE? Kuwait? Iran? Iraq? Why aren't they stepping up and helping get rid of the Taliban or the radicals in Africa? They do nothing to preserve their own religion because maybe they are for the genocides, they want their women as third class citizens or slaves.

    January 30, 2010 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  55. Sayed Ekram

    I think the US must not leave Afghanistan until there is a powerful and legal government with a strong military forces, because leaving Afghanistan will take the war in to the west’s towns and USA streets.
    So, I recommend for all US allies to stay until end of task and never ever take this war out of this surrounded area, If the super powers want leave Afghanistan why?????????
    Why? Why you killed piles of people from both side your military and the Taliban or civilians??????????
    Only One thing to be remembered! Leaving Afghanistan means losing the United States.
    Sayed Ekram

    January 30, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  56. Nathanael [desert voice]

    On reflection, I reiterate that the question has been wrongly formulated. "Negotiating with the Taliban" is too broad. What Taliban? There is moderate Taliban, the radical Taliban, and the ideological non-militant "Taliban." While the moderate Taliban may be approachable, the radical Taliban is still holding Bin Laden. As for the non-militant Taliban, it's a body of "students" spread throughout the world, breathing ideas of hatred, but mostly irrelevant to Afghanistan's immdiate situation. So, while I advocate all possible approaches to the moderate, undecided Taliban, I tend to see the radical leadership as a real menace that needs to be isolated and reeducated. Talking to them, yes, but negotiating with them, no. They may need to be captured individually and interrogated. As for the noncombatant "students" of jihad, these deserve a different approach altogether. The whole world should watch them and confront them at every opportunity. Many of such "students" are identified with Taliban. As long as they are just disgruntled Moslems, they are irrelevant. If however, they become active, they should be treated as radicals – no negotiating with them!

    January 30, 2010 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  57. kapechi2

    This is so silly. Just level Western Pakistan and start over. These people want to die in Jihad, so help them to their virgins. Stop wasting time and money on these puke.

    January 30, 2010 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  58. Dave Jackson

    It is a open secret that the CIA, MI5 and RAW (Indian intelligence) are involved in narcotics smuggling from Afghanistan. The history of drug smuggling by the British is well documented. Remember what the Brits did to the Chinese in the nineteenth century and in the process captured Hong Kong ? The US and NATO are in Afghanistan for their greed. The area north of Afghanistan has some of the largest gas reserves in the world. As far as the US and Britain are concerned Afghanistan is a nice place to grow poppy and act as a flow through area for Central Asian gas. The US and Britain need to demonize the local opposition to justify their occupation of the poor country. India is quite happy to enter the Afghanistan game to destabilize its enemy number 1 namely Pakistan. As long as the greed of the Anglo-Saxons with their Indian sidekicks is there we will not have peace in the God forsaken country.

    January 29, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Steve Mason

    The Taliban are never going to surrender to the Americans/NATO. I've been to Afghanistan on 3 occasions over the last 4 years with non-governmental organizations. The commonly asked question by Afghans is "where is the aid we were promised by the Americans". Since the US/NATO have not been able to bring any positive change to the lives of ordinary Afghans, the occupying powers have not been able to gain any respect amongst the Afghans. The Taliban know this full well and now feel that they have the upper hand. Therefore there is no reason for them to give up now.

    January 29, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  60. sinu

    It is madness to even think of negotiating with al Quida, Taliban OR for that matter with any Islamic state. If the Islamic Governments want to be truthful, they should first put a leash on those murderers and OPENLY condemn murdering (behedding) of innocent people in the name of Sharia instead of making them as Martyrs!!! Just as diamond is cut with diamond, they all need to be paid back ruthlessly in the same coin. Our army need to open up a new wing to counter rouge Islamic nations through covert means. Let Islamic people in free nations participate in such global action.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Elias Bwick

    I have an idea, why not let the afghani people decide. If they are willing then why should it matter to us. Afterall they are bearing the brunt of the war that we thrust on them. We have already made a mess of the whole region, 17BN spent since 2001 and we have NOTHING to show for it. I SAY NOTHING AT ALL.

    January 29, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  62. angelo

    I believe that there are miracles, because i believe in God, but sometimes it's out of our capacity of realizing.Sometimes the persons questioned themselves.The universe is out of capacities for the human realize ,or not? Yes, but i thing this subject is in our capacity to realize,it depends on each one of us.Our will .Did God made the human to his image, or not? Why than do we not to train our mind to his image? Doing that daily, week after week, months after months, years, and deeply good we will be able to change us into a better human and try to give a better future to the next generations with more peace, harmony. If we invent great technologies, and we have success , than is this out of our reach? What we wont for the future ? Ok my brothers and sisters, I know that there are different opinions, and that is a human right, freedom of expression. But the question is: What will happen to our children? Economy, environment, human rights, terrorism .. etc.To finish and very important, we humans are all equals to the eyes of God' ,religions, color, culture... But is the thought have to change.God bless we all .

    January 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Julio Moreira

    I sincerely believe that we should leave afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Korea and all countries where we have armed forces and bring our boys and girls home. Use those billions of dollars for health and education. We should pay more attention to South America, they are our neighbors and have all of the natural reserves the whole world will be after.

    January 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Washo warrior

    I think it would be good so that all americans know how they fill on their part of their storys that they would like to tell

    January 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Abu Muslim

    Realy a shame for the world community and for the US to even think of negotiating with the terrorist Taliban. We the people of Afghanistan will lose confidanse in the US and the world communityif it's going to happen. They are not worth to negotiate with considering thier deads and agenda.

    January 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  66. trkdrvr

    a sad but true fact of life for everyone to contemplate is, only the dead know peace.so lets give the taliban the "peace" they so desperately want.

    January 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Davd of Maine

    I think it's a splendid idea to sit down with tea and biscuits and negotiate with the Taliban. Jesus Christ said, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Even so, I wouldn't trust the Taliban as far as I could throw them by their tail. If it's not going to be possible to completely annihialate them, then at least throughly infiltrate their ranks with spys.
    One thing is perfectly clear to everyone, the Taliban and Al Quaeda have plans for Pakistan, and that is to start a civil war there in the hopes of bringing down the Pakistani gov't and divide the military in an attempt to get their hands on nuclear weapons, or at least one weapon anyway. That's all they would really need though isn't it .

    January 29, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  68. MaxVanguard

    The Taliban do NOT negotiate. Any pretenses of negotiation entered into by the Taliban are done for one sole purpose: deception. The Taliban often uses feigned "negotiations" to buy themselves time, to gain intelligence, and to help them prepare for their next murderous offensive. This has been played out time and time again, often at the cost of many Afghan (and coalition) lives.

    Never be tricked into believing that the Taliban will ever sincerely negotiate a "peace". The word "peace" is not in their vocabulary. Eradication is the only direction any of us should ever consider for the Taliban. While we would enter into negotiations with open minds, the Taliban would not. Their minds are already made up: infidels must die. One cannot negotiate with such a mindset.

    January 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  69. landshark

    Negotiate on what? I mean, doesn't there have to be an issue that can be compromised on? The fighting has gone on for so long between us, (the christian world) and them the Moslem's, that the issues can't be all that clear at this point? Could it be as simple as two enemies setting down and agreeing not to harm each other anymore, and build on that? Maybe both sides can agree not to look to resolve pass transgressions, but to just look forward? Who can really tell us what brought us to the point of war in the first place. All these people must be dead by now? I just don't see it happening. Both sides are in a death grip with both hands around the neck of the other, and neither is going to give up their grip!

    January 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  70. CVK

    Nothing save death shall stop them. Nothing save death is useful.

    January 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  71. DB

    I do not believe it is possible to negotiate with people that are willing to blow themselves up.

    January 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Jerry M.

    Militant Muslems cannot be trusted.They lie and never keep their end of the deal.
    If you don't believe me ask the Israelies.
    The only way you can deal with them is with your foot standing on their necks.

    January 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Steve

    How can you negotiate with people that believe our whole way of life is wrong.
    People who propose negotiation are naive in the extreme if they think any negotiation would be productive. Pakistan tried it not so long ago and almost immediatley they tried to impose their law on other areas which resulted in pakistan having to push them out.
    I think at the end of the day the military should be given a free hand to deal with them whenever, wherever and however the need arises and without mercy

    January 29, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Nathanael [desert voice]

    Kewsi Alleine reminded me something that has never been said in the media. Namely, that the September 11 attack may have been scheduled in conmemoration of the battle of Vienna, which took place on September 11, 1683. A coincidence? I have a feeling that this is not a coincidence. The Battle of Vienna was the only spectacular defeat of Islam in the history of the world! The Polish King, Jan III Sobieski prayed at the Black Madonna Shrine and the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Shrine in Poland, prior to departing to the battlefield. He had to: the Poles were outnumbered one to ten.The battle was amazingly heroic and miraculous. Kara Mustafa, the Turkish commander was assured of the victory by the sheer volume of his army. But the Polish devised an amazing military maneuver, throwing part of their winged cavalry (the hussars wore wings, like angels) straight at Mustafa's headquaters' tent. In this surprise maneuver, they destroyed the central command, and, seeing this, the enormous Moslem army fled in terror from the winged hussars. The spurs of Kara Myustafa are to this day at the Wawel Cathedral in Cracow, making up for the crown on the head of Queen Jadwiga, who later was canonized saint. I sense that the September 11 attack may have been Bin Laden's "Moslem" revenge for that glorious battle, which is credited with saving Europe from Moslem domination!

    January 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  75. paul for canada

    TOOK DOWN THE TWIN TOWERS IN NYC, DESTOYED THOSE PLANES , KILLED ALL THOSE INNOCENT AMERICAN CIVILIANS, go to war against them for what they did and now the americans are going to give it back to them , will they give them a stimulus package as well, went to war in afghanistan be cause of womens rights?????? invaded iraq because of WMD,LETS FACE IT ALL YOU AMERICAN INTELLECTUALS THEY KICKED YOUR BUTT, yes you with all your technology and technical military equipment, we are talking about your enemy those people running around with kalmikoff machine guns, THEY BANKRUPTED YOU,S, they will take back IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN, and THEY WILL GO BACK TO WHAT THEY WERE DOING,

    January 29, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  76. Jim Camp

    As an international published negotiations coach I have a strong opinion about negotiations with the Taliban. The key will be the mission and purpose behind the effort by all parties. If the long term aim, the continuing responsibility of the parties is valid and to the benefit of the people in the region. I say full speed ahead in the effort. If it is discovered that any of the parties are tactically or strategically seeking advantage and power, I say no.

    The negotiation of the agenda is the very beginning of the process where mission and purpose can be fleshed out.

    I will say this, if conventional win-win give and take bargaining is the method, with compromise being the driving force, negotiations are doomed to failure.

    January 29, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  77. CS

    Some enemies subscribe to ethical tenets that differ so much from your own as to be irreconcilable. To give ground, to compromise and allow such cultural practices as female circumcision, mental enslavement, and epistemology a priori is to support the harming of human beings for no benefit to the whole, the curtailing of free thought, and the circumvention of all reason.

    Negotiation includes the possibility of a demand of unconditional surrender on the part of one's enemies. Let such a meeting come to pass–if it has a chance of proceeding amicably.

    I doubt such a meeting would proceed amicably.

    January 29, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  78. Stefan

    I seem to remember a long series of talks between the Pakistani government and the Taliban in the past. Whenever the Taliban was in trouble, they'd call for talks and swear that they would stop attacking outside their current controlled area. As soon as they regained strength, however, they'd attack at will.

    It is time to stop worrying about being kind or taking the high road, that just gets your people blown up. We have to attack them with full force until they are destroyed as a politcal power. Its not about ethics or international fairness anymore, its about survival.

    January 29, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  79. Zoltan Szabo

    No, there should be no negotiations whatsoever with the Taliban. Those who don´t respect basic human rights, treat women as slaves, kill their compatriots don´t deserve to be treated as negotiating partners.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  80. RM

    Kewsi Alleyne: One of the reasons (not all their reasons were noble, to be sure) why the Crusaders marched against the Muslim armies is because those Muslim armies had overrun the holy Christian city of Jerusalem during their conquest of the areas around what today are regions of Israel and Lebanon. Muslims were then and are today heeding the teachings of their Quran, which demands that all Muslims engage in jihad against non-believers. The Ottoman Muslims tried to overrun Europe but their armies were stopped by the king of Poland at the gates of Vienna on September 11th, 1683. Recognize that date? When you read your history, pay attention and try to stick to facts. It's the Muslims who were the aggressors in the times before the Crusades and since then. This incessant cry for revenge against the West is merely a continuation of the jihad required by the Quran.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  81. Cheryl

    SERIOUSLY! I can't believe this is even a thought, negotiate with them.
    I think we would have better luck talking to a roach on the side of the road.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  82. RM

    Those who would negotiate with the Taliban need first to read the Quran and especially, what the Quran demands Muslims do to "non-believers". After that reading, discard any ill-advised urges to negotiate with these monsters.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  83. W. Hawkins

    'Talking' is where it all starts....and it doesn't kill, maim, and wound,...and it has the ability to help peoples lives..... and it serves as a god study to possibly prevent future wars...just for starters.

    It also takes more than talking..."or elses" may not be good methods....it takes willpower and patience to continue talking instead of getting mad and dropping a bomb!!

    January 29, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  84. Len

    While the idea seems great and the reasoning behind such a move appears solid why would the Taliban now want to negotiate when they appear to be winning the war. Conversely, the Taliban can negotiate and then, when foreign troops leave, take over the country anyway. In any case we have lost many men, women and others as well as not having been successful in reaching the ultimate goals set out by the Bush administration. Ultimately, the question should be: can we trust the Taliban and its leaders to bargain in good faith and keep their promises. So far they have failed to do so.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  85. bobby wire

    I have 3 suggestions...(1) drop a H-bomb in the mountains of Afganistan (2) drop an H-bomb in the mountains of Pakistan (3) Reserve an H-bomb for any country willing to give safe haven to these animals....that is at the very least a good start....take care...bobby

    January 29, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  86. Robert

    Taliban are allied with Alqueda. Unless they are willing to turn against them, we should not negotiate. Alqueada offer no peace unless we do exactly what will not be done... if we leave the middle east, denounce isreal and allow strict Islamic law to spread ( without resistance.)

    January 29, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  87. Cassandra Leon

    Yes, lets negoiate with the Taliban, pay them for putting down the arms.
    The Taliban are just like cave dwellers that have no beliefs in treating their women as humans.
    Why not release all of our crimminals in the U.S. and pay them a monthey check . Lets see how long our crimminals will get greedy and continue to commit crimes .
    Let's face it, we are paying the price for strengthening Bin Laden when we used him to force the Russians out of Afghanistan. Now we are paying the price commiting the same mistakes that Russia did by invading Afghanistan.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  88. amn johnson

    do i understand the full context of the war of our ages is the first question i ask myself. that answer is no!
    that is irrelevant. the matter at hand really comes down to equality. does the afghan community want to be equal? that probably depends on who you ask. there needs to be the opprotunity for that advancement which is made by each individual throughout that portion of the world.
    another influence that will decide what platform this global community will be on is the ability to educate those who are less privaledged, so they are able to comprehend what is at stake for themselves, country, and world.
    with that being said, i will continue to support our mission day in a day out.
    i wear this uniform because my life may be significant to many loved ones around me, but if i can play a bigger role to support the community of the world, whether i am around to see it or not, then my life has meaning.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  89. George D

    The Taliban only acknowledges strength by force, fighting and dying for Allah, and living with fundamentalist Islamic law. They have no concept of negotiating or compromise. They have no concept of the outside world and democracy. They grew up believing that they are victims of the outside world, especially America, and they they have to keep on fighting as long as they live until the West is no more.

    Negotiating with the Taliban is like negotiating with a cornered opossum. Good luck!

    A suggestion: Use Western strength to terrorize the Taliban into the negotiating table. Use firepower to show them that there is no other choice. Use all-out war without restraint and mercy. Words like "please" will be met with laughter.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  90. Chi

    You are not serious......negotiate with the Taliban? North Korea, Iran? Please... Can all sit down and a cup of Joe and have some food and talk it over... that would be things human do. All they want to do is take the west down and see how many westerner can they kill?
    Especially Americans… You need to have a cup of coffee and think it over…Maybe talk to yourself…

    I am wondering... if their culture so great, and America and American are so screw up why they breaking their neck leavening their country go to England, France, Italy, and America. Them they want the whole world live like them. I totally believe they need to go back where ever they came from and stay. They need to keep it to them self and practice their own believe to them self and leave the rest of the world along.

    America was a richest and strongest country in the world, and US dollar was the only currency it counts. Now government has to bag Chinese to help us out, we are no longer the top country, Please get your mind in the right track... These animals does not care about their own country man or women, they are only wants to be in control and terrorize the world, You’ll go ahead have that tea and coffee maybe some Kabob while you are at it, see how far it will get you...

    January 29, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  91. Spike

    Read your history and do your research. Almost in every instance when opposition groups have been included in the building/rebuilding/running of the country, there has been a cessation of hostilities. Yes, it may turn out that the violent opposition winds up running the country by slight of hand or vote fraud. But, we then get to really see what they're made of when they have to actually govern. And if they can't or won't, they usually fade away into the shadows.

    January 29, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  92. Kewsi Alleyne

    I think the Taliban need to come out and say if they want to negotiate if they really wanted to they will make a tape just like they make tapes to spread their hatred for America and others.

    If they don't then they obviously don't want to negotiate peacefully... they want to continue being militant.

    I see the reason for the Taliban but it doesn't justify what they are doing. They are only causing more drama and hate by their actions... THE SAME THING THAT THE U.S. AND OTHER COUNTRIES ARE DOING BY CONTINUANCE OF THE "War Against Terrorism".

    I look at the Taliban with their "Jihad" preachings and see that they are trying to do a similar thing to the Crusades of the middle ages when Europeans/Catholic church was using the Bible as a means to kill people because they didn't believe in other views and obviously did not want to negotiate but KILL.

    Prove this wrong and lets try to live together... if not you might be the next one to die for your "cause" or someone elses....

    January 29, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  93. taiwan binladin

    The top commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Mc Crystal, in an interview with The Financial Times, has said: “We fought along war in Afghanistan. Now there is need for peace and for efforts to establish peace.“ His remarks come amidst reports that it is impossible for his invading forces and other coalition troops in Afghanistan to turn the Jihadic resistance. In fact, the Americans tried every mean and tool to wipe out the Jihadic resistance but the graph of the resistance of the Afghans has been ascending and opposition to the presence of the invaders intensifying.

    The legitimate Jihadic resistance of the Afghans not only faced the enemy with defeat in the military field but they have faced them with a psychological defeat as well. All their decisions and planning indicate a clue of their psychological disease. One of their ridiculous decision and proposition is that the Jihadic leadership and chiefs of the strongholds of Jihad can have a political asylum abroad. Similarly, to distract the attention of the people from the complete defeat, they offered government slots to Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate or that they would pave the way for their comfortable life abroad. Could one believe that they are doing this out of sympathy with the Afghans and for prosperous life for them?

    January 29, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  94. Jai Singh

    Once again the USA has goofed up. They now want to declare a victory and go home. Like in Viet Nam they backed a corrupt regime. But in Afghanistan the situation is so very different and and purely for convenience and justification for their withdrawal they have made a good and a bad Taliban. The half hearted Nato Allies have only too willingly joined the Americans in calling for a withdrawal. Well, the good and the bad Taliban are coming. Their goals remain the same. So get ready for more Jihad. You have given the jihadis a country.

    January 29, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  95. Sam Arthya

    You cannot negotiate with the taliban who are fighting for islam, you can negotiate with the taliban fighting for Afganistan. How do you tell them apart? I guess these are the guys who only want to kill you and not themselves.

    January 29, 2010 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  96. Nathanael [desert voice]

    I think that "negotiate" is an improper term when it comes to Taliban. You negotiate with equals. The Taliban can never be equals to the civilized West! They are a rare, dying breed of medieval fanatics, dating to Muhammad (600's). So, what do we do? How would one "negotiate" with an alien delegation from another planet? Not directly! You can't just sit at the table with the "dangerous and hostile unknown"! The only way the Coalition can achieve results with the Taliban is sending "look-alikes" to prepare the ground for meaningful give and take. In case of the aliens, this would perhaps mean sending metalica-dressed rappers. In case of the Taliban, Saudi Beduins, ughurs, Uzbeks, or other Taliban-friendly groups might be a good choice. The initial exploratory team, empowered and robust, should be pre-announced and sent by President Karzai as the "official negotiation body." Let's see what they come up with. Ir they are able to break the ice, then the real and proper negotiation can begin.

    January 29, 2010 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  97. j smith

    did they give us the same option on 911 dont think so no is the answer anything but that is cowerdly

    January 29, 2010 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  98. Carlos

    How can u negotiate with terrorists? Its like they're getting away with everything they have done. The only way to negotiate with them is if they surrender and pay for what they have done...The police don't negotiate with citizens when they eat a red light why should there be a negotiation with people that have murdered people. Just me thinking.

    January 29, 2010 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  99. mason

    people must be allowed to choose their own ways as long as they do not hurt others which is common sense and all religions say that...anyone who doesn't fall under those lines should be considered and is dangerous by any religions standards and the countries should remove those people...their brainwashing and propaganda has to be replaced with truth and they have to be told truly how they have been helped due to the invasion and allowing them to have more freedom than before ....no one knows what you know, unless they know how much you care...That is just what I think anyways. They will change automatically speaking to Taliban leaders is nonsense they will take the money and do what they do anyways we will just give them another boost ... WHY is tax payer money going to them?

    January 29, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  100. Ben

    I'd be willing to negotiate the Taliban's surrender...
    If they agree to say, leave Afghanstan peacefully and relocte to a small deserted island in the middle of no where, then sure, let's negotiate.

    January 29, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
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