Strategy Page. After taking a pounding this year, the Taliban are discussing negotiations with the Afghan Government.

The Afghan Pashtun Tribes turned against the Taliban over the past few years. The Pashtuns have one of their own – President Karzai – in charge of the country, so there is no nationalist drive to help the Taliban. The Taliban have weakened their own popularity through suicide bombings, intimidation tactics, attacking food convoys and dishonorable kidnappings. Kidnapping very popular deminers and women only hurt the Taliban even more.

The Taliban coalition in Afghanistan is breaking down. Over the long run, the drug lords will become regional warlords, but that’s a different problem.