The Obama administration is expressing new confidence that talks with the Taliban next week offer the best chance yet to end the 10-year-old war in Afghanistan.
But the intelligence community warns that the Taliban is more interested in continuing fighting than making peace.
To guard against the Taliban using the talks to boost its standing while delivering little in return, the U.S. this week will lay out confidence-building measures -- or specific steps that the U.S. and the insurgents agree to take ahead of formal talks.
A senior U.S. official said those talks, if they ever take place, would include the United States, the Taliban and the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive diplomacy.