A new briefing paper from the British Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) quotes several Taliban members close to Mullah Omar, including an unnamed former minister and a former lead negotiator for the faction as believing that a negotiated settlement is still attainable in the ongoing war.
They say that the Taliban are fully “prepared to work with the US” on a deal including long-term security arrangements and potentially the continuation of the US occupation in some form, but only under certain conditions.
The paper lays out in considerable detail the possible conditions for a settlement, saying that they consider any deal that requires them to recognize the Karzai government as a “non-starter.”
The long and short of it is that the Taliban are fine with breaking all links with international militant factions and making considerable reforms, but want to return to a position of preeminence in Afghan governance. US officials have not commented on the possibility of such a deal.
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