In his new book, Negotiating with Evil (2010), former U. S. diplomat named Mitchell Reiss praises the Obama administration for opening up channels of communication with the Taliban in 2009. However Reiss is critical of the Obama team for fumbling those interactions.
. . . . . .The president appeared to recognize that the United States could not kill or capture every Taliban member. Some would have to be co-opted, accommodated, or bargained with in order for Washington to accomplish its mission. . . . .
. . . . .The United States has numerous examples of leaders engaging with terrorists and rogue regimes. . . . .
. . . . .American presidents have negotiated with terrorists and rogue regimes to secure the release of hostages, to arrange temporary ceasefires, and to explore whether a more permanent truce might be possible, although they have sometimes gone to great lengths to disguise their direct involvement. . . . .
. . . . The most powerful reason not to engage with certain enemies is the judgment that no amount of concessions will pacify their hostile behavior. Attempts to do so are usually termed ‘appeasement' and may result in disaster. . . .
Reiss argues that the Taliban is not a monolithic adversary, and that it does not have territorial ambitions that extend beyond Afghanistan.