In 2007 a series of increasingly violent attacks in many provinces and the capital of Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai decided to negotiate with the Taliban, and offered them senior government positions in exchange for peace focusing on public interest. Dispirited by losses at the hands of NATO bombings, the Taliban also decided to talk. However, the Taliban’s demands changed, and dramatically increased every year. The parties have not reached an agreement yet because of the Taliban’s excessive demands. The Taliban’s excessiveness in the past few years bring up the question: Are the Taliban exclusively focused on position and power, and the government on interest? This difference is critical because if the Taliban is only focused on position and power, the government is see as an opponent rather than a partner and the goal of this negotiation is victory rather than an agreement.
Most of the Taliban are a group of angry people who are ready to lose anything to gain power. While the top tier of the Taliban comprises the ideologues, a majority of the members are not in the group for defending or promoting an ideology. Many are in this group because they do not have alternative employment opportunities from the government. Several are dismayed at the progress made by the government and disappointed with the unfulfilled promises that were made to them by the international community.
Categorizing the potential partners in this negotiation poses the first big challenge that grips the government. The Afghan president is not the only person to decide and accept the Taliban’s demands, but has to get support from its cabinet. The president is obliged to answer questions to all other parties such as its cabinet and political groups. And it is very difficult for the Taliban and, all the parties in the government to reach one agreement.
The Taliban in this negotiation are entirely focused on power and position based strategies, which is obviously not helping them....