...Based on his conversations in recent years with people close to the Taliban leadership, Dr Lieven believes that “a peace settlement between the US, the administration in Kabul, and the Afghan Taliban would probably have to be based on some variant of the following elements:
(1) complete withdrawal of all US troops according to a fixed timetable;
(2) exclusion of al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups from areas controlled by the Taliban;
(3) a government in Kabul headed—at least nominally—by men the Taliban would see as good Muslims and Afghan patriots;
(4) negotiations on a new Afghan constitution involving the Taliban and leading to the transfer of most powers from the center to the regions;
(5) de facto—though not formal—Taliban control of the region of Greater Kandahar, and by the Haqqanis of Greater Paktika;
(6) a return to the Taliban offer of 1999–2001 of a complete ban on opium poppy cultivation and heroin production in the areas under their control, in return for international aid”.He thinks that there is a good chance of the Taliban agreeing to such an agreement; he also believes that a settlement along these lines would meet the security needs of Pakistan and would be acceptable to it....
-bth: this is worth reading in full.