The Strategist: Secret Dealings with the Taliban. Is there a diplomatic resolution to the Afghan war? My commentary there is prelude to a possible post here. Diplomacy will be necessary, I'd imagine, but who should we sit down with and what diplomatic strategy should we embark upon? I would opine that it isn't Gulbuddin Hekmatyer nor Mullar Omar and it shouldn't include giving hardliners access to Afghanistan's already unstable political process.
Robert Kaplan's Op Ed in the NY Times (via Coming Anarchy): Manhunt or a Vital War? The Afghan war is beyond capturing Osama bin Ladin, the future of the entire region is at stake. I found this specifically interesting:
Pakistan’s future may hinge on the degree to which the United States can work with the Pakistani military to keep the Taliban rebellion from expanding not only throughout Afghanistan, but into Pakistan’s own cities as well.
Paradoxically, that will mean making deals with some Taliban groups against others. For the Taliban are not a monolithic organization, but bands of ornery Pashtun backwoodsmen who have been cut out of the power base in Afghanistan by an increasingly corrupt and ineffectual government in Kabul.