President Obama has suggested that it may be productive to negotiate
with "moderate" elements within the Taliban. Here's some information from Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club about how well negotiating with the Taliban has worked for Pakistan.
His concluding 'graph:
From handshakes to worries about nukes. From "peace in our time" to the Battle of Britain. Once the overall design margin of a system has been eroded, failure when it comes manifests itself in a rapid cascade of events. The hidden stresses suddenly pile on each other and the structure, raddled with hundreds of weaknesses each minor in itself, collapses under their simultaneous impact. Today the United States is under threat on a number of fronts, from the Black Sea to cyberspace and South Asia. Since November 2008 America’s response to those challenges has been informed by a new set of assumptions about the nature of the world and the appropriate response to them. Now those assumptions will be put to the test. More than ever the United States needs good intelligence: about Pakistani intentions, the security of that country’s nukes, Taliban capability and foreign support against US troops. More than ever the public needs to know whether the world view of the new administration is part of the solution or part of the problem. Like the Islamabad, Washington will eventually find out.