What Kind of Negotiations Should There Be Between Karzai and The Taliban?
Peter Bergen asks a great question: Since we’re seeing movement toward Karzai-Taliban negotiations, what kind of negotiations should there be?
Should everything be on the table? Who should be brought in and who should be left out?
Nir Rosen: “A lot of these former Taliban and Hekmatyar commanders say use local mullahs” as intermediators with the Karzai government. “You have to use someone respected by both sides… everyone seems to believe that local tribes, local mullahs… and the Saudis should have” a role as brokers as well.
Seth Jones of RAND: So many components to the insurgency. “I think the better response is what’s been historical in Afghanistan: negotiating with local power.” Tribes, jirgas, etc. It’s difficult, “but if anyone has the ability to enforce agreements on the ground, it’s these sorts of institutions.”
Christine Fair: Pakistani negotiations with the Taliban have been “ratifications of defeat on the ground.” Without “any ability to verify” Taliban compliance. They were a joke, a separate peace, legitimizing Taliban leaders. In the tribal areas, “the so-called jirgas often held up as a pathway to peace have been fundamentally eviscerated” and replaced by religious and Taliban figures. “I’m dubious, especially in the tribal areas,” that negotiating with the Taliban in Pakistan could be productive, “since their goals are antithetical to the state.”