In an effort to keep Afghan peace talks from the going the way of Israeli/Palestinian peace talks, the Obama administrations has decided to negotiate with Taliban allies in Pakistan. Moreover, they’ve told those Taliban allies that if they will release one U.S. soldier from captivity, the U.S. will release five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for him.
An agreement would send the five Taliban prisoners to Qatar to prove the U.S. is keeping their end of the bargain. Once the detainees reach Qatar, the Taliban allies in Pakistan would then release U.S. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from captivity. It is believed that Bergdahl has been held as a POW by the Taliban allies since disappearing from a base in southern Afghanistan in the summer of 2009.
According to Reuters, Qatar officials have played a significant role in “secret discussions” between U.S. officials and Taliban representatives for “almost two years.”
It is worth noting that historically, the U.S. has refused to negotiate with terrorists for any reason at any time. However, it appears that stance has softened somewhat under Obama.