Even as the U.S. prepares to send 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has made it clear that military force alone isn’t the solution. To that end, he’s proposed negotiating with moderate Taliban leaders.
The Afghan government has already been holding talks with hard-line elements of the Taliban, including one group affiliated with the former Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, once an ally of Osama bin Laden. Characterizing the talks as productive, the government has asked the Taliban to clearly reject al-Qaeda. In return, the Taliban has demanded the release of Taliban prisoners from Afghan and U.S. jails and an end to house searches and arrests.
Karin von Hippel, the co-director of the post-conflict reconstruction project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. speaks with Martin Savidge about the possibility of a dialogue with the Taliban.