Taliban leader Mullah Omar is now the focus of attention, with the Pakistan military reportedly saying that it is prepared to act as a middleman to help the administration of United States President Barack Obama in a "new diplomatic overture to find an end to the long-running conflict" in Afghanistan.
Mullah Omar, however, is not believed to be in any mood to talk. Over the past few months, he has consolidated his grip over the various scattered but powerful resistance groups across Afghanistan and in Pakistan's tribal areas. His ultimate objective, as it has been since the Taliban were ousted in the US-led invasion of 2001, is for military victory against foreign forces.
This is a land war which absolutely cannot be won from the air.
One would have thought that perhaps the lessons of the Viet Nam War would have been absorbed by the civilian and military leadership of the US and NATO by this point in history; obviously, they have not.
And that is one damned shame.