Step One in any smart peace plan is to piss off your thieving and unreliable peace partner:

US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday made his second call to the Afghan President in 24 hours to ease Hamid Karzai’s anger over the rollout of the Taliban’s new political office in Qatar – a rift that temporarily delayed US talks with the militant group set to begin this week.

Mr Karzai was upset that when it opened its new office in Qatar the Taliban used its formal name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which is what it used when it was in power more than a decade ago.

Afghan officials said that violated an agreement that the office should open only for negotiations, not as a political entity like a parallel institution to the Afghan government.

Something tells me the peace talks — assuming we can attach enough jumper cables to its withered corpse — will end up bringing the Taliban formally into the Afghan government. They’ll sieze total power just as soon as we’ve left, and then the country will go back to enjoying its national sport of killing anybody who ain’t from around here. Or who might not be from around here. Or who looks different. Or talks different. Or who might have harbored an impure thought one time. And girls.

We need to bug out and let the Afghans work this out amongst themselves.