Of course there has been no regional agreement -- indeed no agreement of any kind -- and now it's 2013, there has been the flow and ebb of the 'surge' of U.S. forces that Pres. Obama ordered at the end of 2009, and the overall situation, notwithstanding that there have no doubt been some success stories in some provinces, remains, in two words, not great. Or at any rate that is the only conclusion a viewer could have drawn from this piece that aired on the NewsHour last Monday.
In the discussion that immediately followed, James Dobbins said:
...we [i.e. the U.S. and its allies] are hopeful that there can be a negotiated peace with the Taliban. We see the importance of that being led by the Afghans. And Karzai is very frustrated, because, while the Taliban are willing to talk to us, they're not willing to talk to him or his government. And that's a source of deep frustration, that the future of Afghanistan might be hammered out between parties that don't include the government in Kabul. Now, I don't think the U.S. administration intends to do that. But the Taliban would like to -- would like to exacerbate tensions between us and Karzai and feed his suspicions that there are secret deals being done that he's not party to.Forgive a stupid question, but don't the Taliban understand that the U.S. is joined at the hip with Karzai and that there is zero chance that the U.S. would strike a deal with the Taliban behind Karzai's back, no matter what sorts of statements he makes? Indeed, why doesn't Karzai himself understand this? Have Mullah Omar (or whoever is making the Afghan Taliban's decisions) and Karzai watched The Godfather too many times? Do they think that NATO and ISAF have spent more than a decade in Afghanistan for the purpose of creating conditions in which secret deals can be struck and the military-diplomatic equivalent of severed horses' heads can be left in people's beds? I realize Afghan domestic politics might have a substantial element of this (and perhaps always has), but that's less than a good excuse for harboring and/or acting on such delusions.
Update: V. Yadav has a somewhat different view.