Where to begin?
How about; “you can rent an Afghan but you can’t buy one?” These are the guys that switch sides in the middle of a fight; the wartime version of The Price Is Right. Asylum and loyalty granted to bin Laden. Ah, you don’t think the pledge to bin Laden and Al Qaeda were meaningful? The Taliban were willing to be brought down by that pledge, despite misgivings about bin Laden.
If, under Taliban control, you were a highly observant Muslim male, you were in pretty good shape. If you were anything else you were; repressed, beaten in the street if a hair too much, well, hair was showing, denied education of any sort, subjected to essential slavery, beheaded, or mutilated. These guys ran the Disney Land of repression.
We’re worried about ‘pissing’ them off? We’re trying to negotiate an agreement to negotiate. Peace in our time! The ‘good war’ brought to a successful conclusion; really?
There are two and only two major forces at work here: Islam and tribalism. Tribalism is, for the average Afghan, the only system they have ever seen that worked to any degree at all. ‘You’d better join the gang, because that’s the only survival path.’ The Afghans have seen it all come and go for centuries; nothing has changed. Dictators, Communists, Democrats have all had a hand at Afghanistan; they have all failed.
There is no disagreement as to the brand of conservative, fundamental Islam applied by The Taliban. So be it. It’s not a case of dismissing the application of their faith, it or even critiquing it; it’s a case of understanding it. Understanding that, based in Islamic Jurisprudence, a ‘deal’ with a non Muslim is only to be observed until you’re ready to disregard it in your favor. It’s the LAW! Mohammed did so, providing both the example and the legal founding for its enshrinement in law.
To assume a negotiation of any kind with the Taliban will supplant tribalism, territorialism, and their brand of Islam could only be justified were the State Department negotiators to have consumed large quantities of LSD as their path to a strategy! Or, perhaps, abject ignorance might explain it!