US Should Talk to al-Qaeda, Analysts Say

Expert negotiators think diplomacy is worth a try against terror network
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 2:29 PM CDT
This frame grab taken from a video message carrying the logo of al-Qaida's production house as-Sahab and provided by IntelCenter, a U.S. government contractor monitoring al-Qaida messaging, purports to...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Eschewing war as the only means of neutralizing militant groups, some analysts have suggested the US consider negotiating with al-Qaeda, Reuters reports. "No insurgency or terrorism has been defeated by warfare or violence," one negotiator said. Proponents see treating al-Qaeda as a legitimate power, not a loose network of militants, as necessary in destabilizing the group.

One concern is that by initiating conversation with al-Qaeda, the US would legitimize all terrorist groups. Moreover, al-Qaeda makes no political demands, calling for global jihad as an end unto itself. Even so, diplomacy advocates see negotiations on the horizon: "When we can't win a war, we sit down and talk with terrorists and stop calling them terrorists."