Unsurprisingly, the Taliban are not interested.
The Obama administration has launched a post-election push to restart moribund peace talks with the Taliban, despite resistance from the U.S. military, mixed signals from Pakistan and outright refusal by the militants themselves, according to U.S. officials.
Senior White House and State Department officials reiterated the administration’s negotiating position — including its willingness to exchange prisoners with the Taliban — to a reluctant Defense Department at a meeting of national security deputies two weeks ago.
The same message was conveyed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Pakistan’s foreign minister Monday in Brussels, along with an appeal for Pakistani cooperation with a separate negotiating effort by the Afghan government.
Douglas Lute, President Obama’s top adviser for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is scheduled to meet with Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, Tuesday morning in Brussels, where Clinton is attending a NATO meeting.