President Bush leaves office in January, but his inflexible foreign policy may beat him to the exit. The Wall Street Journal reports today on a White House assessment recommending that the United States talk with the Taliban in order to address Afghanistan’s growing unrest. The Afghan government would lead the talks, but they would include the United States while excluding top Taliban leaders. The main goals would be to extend the Kabul government’s authority while persuading some Taliban figures to cease their attacks. The White House could choose to ignore the recommendation, but Gen. Petraeus has endorsed the measure. To highlight how large a change in course this is: The last high-level Taliban official to approach the United States about cooperation was imprisoned in Guantanamo for four years.