Aikins: Should a state ever consider negotiating with terrorist organizations? And if so, under what circumstances?
The Afghan Taliban, with whom negotiations were conducted, is not listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, UK, or European Union. It may be a violent, fundamentalist Islamist insurgency, but to characterize it as a classic terrorist group mischaracterizes its history and aims. The Bergdahl trade should instead be considered under the long tradition of negotiated prisoner-of-war exchanges during wartime.