For the past few months an incongruous figure has passed through the airports of the Middle East and Europe: a senior Afghan cleric who defected from the Taliban. Bearded and in traditional dress, he has unsurprisingly needed the help of the Saudi Arabian and British intelligence services - among others - to pass unhindered between capitals.
He has always traveled in great secrecy, his movements known only to a few individuals at the highest levels of the Afghan government, in Riyadh and among certain Western allies. His mission: to talk to the Taliban leadership about a possible peace deal.
Negotiation, ultimately, is the only way to stabilize Afghanistan.
What the US and NATO have accomplished with aerial bombing, has been the killing of innocent civilians, and radicalization of those left standing further away from Karzai's government.