U.S. officials are involved in talks between Afghan representatives and the Taliban, though not at the negotiating table, it was revealed recently. That ''silent partner'' approach may not be a safe strategy.
It needs to be remembered that U.S. and other NATO troops removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan for a reason - because the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists. Now, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and others in his government seem willing to form what would amount to a coalition regime with the Taliban.
Thus far, U.S. officials have not participated in the negotiations. They have assured Taliban representatives of safe passage to the talks, however. And some U.S. officials have hinted they might be open to participating in discussions with the Taliban.
The aim is ending the war in Afghanistan, of course. That is desirable - providing it does not allow the Taliban to resume offering a safe haven to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
President Barack Obama is eager to portray himself as a leader who ends wars. He has declared conflict in Iraq to be over - even though Americans continue to be in danger there, and some still are being killed and wounded.
We hope he is not adopting the same philosophy concerning Afghanistan. An agreement with the Taliban that gives Islamic terrorists a new lease on power would not be real peace.