Where does one start with this idiocy? In recent weeks, "militant factions" of the Taliban have attacked and killed innocent people in banks, shopping centres and hospitals. Additionally, as the BBC notes in its coverage of "the talks", even as these talks were supposedly going on, Taliban suicide bombers killed nine people at a police station. There is no record that any "moderate factions" of the Taliban have opposed any of this.
You don't negotiate with people like this - you murder them, and when that is not possible, you utilise your best resources to cut off their funding and methodology of attack.
Aside from the moral and tactical stupidity of these talks, there is also another aspect to consider. A few days ago, USA Today reported that "The number of attacks by Afghan security forces on U.S. and allied troops has increased dramatically this year", with 40% of all such attacks since 2005 occuring this year alone.
Then there is the fact that Islamic law (to which our enemies rigorously adhere) allows for peace talks and truces only as a temporary cessation of hostilities for tactical purposes. In the words of the important manual of Islamic law Reliance of the Traveller, which has been endorsed by some of Islam's highest authorities:
There must be some interest served in making a truce other than mere preservation of the status quo...Interests that justify making a truce are such things as Muslim weakness because of lack of members or materiel, or the hope of an enemy becoming Muslim...If the Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) made a truce with Quraysh for that long, as is related by Abu Dawud. It is not permissible to stipulate longer than that, save by means of new truces, each of which does not exceed ten years.
In light of all this, what steps are being taken (or could conceivably be taken) by Coalition negotiators to ensure that Muslims who claim to be our friends are being sincere, and will not turn around at the first available opportunity and kill their new-found allies?
Why, absolutely none, because to even contemplate such a thing, even in spite of all the evidence, would be "Islamophobia", and no one wants that.
In a statement reacting to this latest news, the UK said it supported "Afghan-led efforts to reconcile and reintegrate members of the insurgency who are prepared to renounce violence, cut links with terrorist groups, and accept the constitution".
Where are these people? Have our intelligence services and army identified a single person fitting this description? And if so, what criteria did they use to determine it?
In any case, any "moderate Taliban" members who accept the constitution of Afghanistan would also accept stoning and religion- and gender-based discrimination, since all these things are part of sharia law which, thanks to our own enlightened efforts, is enshrined in the Afghan constitution as the ultimate arbiter of all laws in that country (see Chapter 1, Article 3).
All the talks in the world won't change these facts.