On Friday, Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai agreed to make efforts at reconciliation with the Taliban.
To this end, both men endorsed "the establishment of a Taliban political office in Qatar." Their hope is to encourage insurgents to take part "in inter-Afghan talks."
The two also agreed the U.S. needs to speed up the withdraw of its forces from Afghanistan so that they can be out even quicker than Obama previously promised. This means Obama's highly touted plan to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 may, in fact, become archaic.
Right now, the plan is still to have them out by the end of 2014, but the start of the withdraw--which will take time to complete--is going to be sped up.
The bottom line: the U.S. is leaving and the Taliban is getting office space.
Photo credit: Lance Cpl. Athanasios L. Genos/U.S. Marine Corps