Should Obama talk to the Taliban?

But there is a growing belief, particularly among experts who have been advising the Obama administration on Afpak policy, that it is important to peel away some lower members of the Taliban, in sort of a divide-and-conquer strategy. General Petraeus, the head of the United States Central Command, said last year that one element of the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq that might be applicable in Afghanistan was outreach to what he has described as “reconcilables” among the insurgents.

Under that principle, Mullah Omar is not considered, at least at this point by the West, as “reconcilable.” But a local Taliban district commander might be.