Afghanistan: If You Can’t Beat Them, Integrate Them

The US/Karzai coalition is now going full steam ahead with the Taliban reconciliation plans, with over $100 Million being pumped into the project.

It is a vital step. It is becoming clear that the Taliban cannot be comprehensively defeated. So, lets integrate them into the political system, like the US did with al-Sadr in Iraq.

And this isn’t a case of “Hey, let’s all be friends now!” The primary targets are low-level Taliban fighters, not the fanatical leadership. America and Karzai want the foot soldiers onside, whether it takes the lure of money, stable employment or just peaceful existence.

Sure, they’ll attempt to deal with the higher-ups. But only on terms that are harmonious to the idea of a democratic Afghanistan. And if enough of the footsoldiers lay down their arms in exchange for amnesty and a “live and let live” policy, the Taliban will find itself squeezed of manpower. Petraeus is good at this kind of thing, it’s one of the main reasons the Iraq surge was so succesful.

No ones under any illusions about this. No matter how succesful this policy is (and I believe it could be very succesful) there will remain the more ideologically hardcore of the Taliban who won’t lay down the arms. But if they can be reduced, weakened and squeezed of support, they won’t be as much of a threat to Karzai’s Afghanistan

This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Counter Insurgency (COIN), Middle East, Politics, War and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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