Infighting in the Obama administration? The U.S. special envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, along with many European governments, criticized the Pakistani government for bowing to Taliban pressure and essentially providing them with an autonomous state in the Swat valley.
Pakistan-Taliban Truce Criticized
And yet, the U.S. has remained relatively quiet on the matter, and today Secretary of Defense Gates announced that a similar truce in Afghanistan would be acceptable.
US Quiet on Peace Deal with Taliban
US Says Pakistan-Style Truce with Taliban Acceptable
I think these actions amount to the creation of a de facto independent Taliban state, which to me means all those years of war were for absolutely nothing. Gates stresses political reconciliation, but is that actually possible with the Taliban? Will this simply turn part of Afghanistan into a new Taliban state that can support Al-Qaeda without interference?