Powell and Musharraf on Tuesday both emphasized a role for moderate Taliban elements in a future government, although the Northern Alliance immediately rejected any Taliban presence in a future political arrangement. - Time, 2001
In coordination with the Afghan government, my Administration has been in direct discussions with the Taliban. We have made it clear that they can be a part of this future if they break with al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws. Many members of the Taliban - from foot soldiers to leaders - have indicated an interest in reconciliation. A path to peace is now set before them. Those who refuse to walk it will face strong Afghan Security Forces, backed by the United States and our allies. - President Obama, 2012
Rather than find some kind of ad-hoc, messy and compromising ending to the Afghan war in 2001, Washington decided to spend hundreds of lives and billions of dollars to find an ad-hoc, messy and compromising ending to the Afghan war in 2012 (or 2014 or whenever). Brilliant.