Current talks with the Taliban are unlikely to result in a sustainable peace, according to a report from the International Crisis Group.
Talking about Talks: towards a political settlement in Afghanistan says negotiations could even lead to further destabilisation of the country. The Afghan security forces will find it hard to fill the power vacuum following the withdrawal of foreign troops and growing political differences within the country will undermine the prospects for peace. The ICG recommends the appointment of a UN-mandated mediation team and the adoption of a more realistic approach to resolving the conflict.
The report says President Karzai's government and its international backers have adopted a "market bazaar" approach to negotiations: "Bargains are being cut with any and all comers, regardless of their political relevance or ability to influence outcomes. Far from being Afghan-led, the negotiating agenda has been dominated by Washington’s desire to obtain a decent interval between the planned U.S. troop drawdown and the possibility of another bloody chapter in the conflict."
The ICG report adds that efforts to start negotiations have been half-hearted and haphazard, stoking fears among ethnic minorities, civil society and women: "A thorough reassessment of Karzai’s national reconciliation policy, the role of the High Peace Council and the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) is urgently needed. The program has faced staunch resistance from local security officials mistrustful of participants’ motives, and its impact has been minimal at best."
It's another very depressing report.