Reconciliation: Splitting a divided enemy in Afghanistan

The call for some rapprochement with "moderate" members of the Afghan insurgency seeks to exploit the fact the "Taliban" are far from a homogenous fighting force and more of a multilayered network, some rivals, some openly hostile to each other. But finding those prepared to come inside the tent rather than firing on it from outside may prove a delicate task.

The Miliband plan calls for insurgents to be wooed at the lowest and highest levels. At the rank and file level, as David Miliband said, many of the footsoldiers crucial for planting the bombs and booby traps that have devastated UK forces in Helmand appear to be motivated by lack of any prospects.

Qari Yusuf Ahmedi, a Taliban spokesman, reached by telephone, denied the existence of the so-called $10-a-day Taliban. "The Islamic emirate is not paying anyone. From the commanders down to the lowest fighters, everyone is ready for jihad just for Allah," he said. "The Taliban can't pay because we don't have money and if you pay salary it won't be jihad." He also denied that at senior levels there were insurgent leaders who may be acting for pragmatic rather than ideological reasons. "We are not waging jihad for the rights of Pashtuns [Afghanistan's biggest ethnic group] or for power. Jihad is just for Allah – freedom of the country against the un-Islamic system which is occupying the country. There is no al-Qaida – where is it?" he asked.
The Max Hasting view...

Sorry, but we HAVE to talk to the Taliban: It's the only way to salvage some hope from this mess, argues military historian

It is about time, indeed long overdue. Yesterday, Foreign Secretary David Miliband delivered the first big British Government policy statement for years about Afghanistan.

Its headline theme was a proposal to launch a programme to reconcile insurgents willing to stop fighting, to bribe them to lay down their arms.

Critics denounce this as 'talking to terrorists', when the recent operation Panther's Claw in Helmand has cost the lives of nine British soldiers and a tragic stream of body bags is coming home. But all the officers I know perceive dialogue with the Taliban as essential to salvage anything from this intractable war.
Disrespectful to those who have died and been seriously injured in panthers claw, pandering to the talibans needs as the government realises it can't/won't give us resources/manpower etc we need.
Perhaps the Taliban are not monolithic in thought or motivation. Some are Tali because of economic realities while others are true believers and deserve to be shot at every opportunity.

It would seem that sorting them out would not only save ammo but would hamper their foul designs. Killing them all is not only difficult and time consuming but would seem to only turn the general population against us and that defeats the whole purpose of counterinsurgency does it not?
Why dont we spread the rumour that one of the giant buddhas in Bamyan has started speaking of the return of Allah. When the hordes arrive to hear the 'miracle sayings' we can detonate a carefully placed low yield nuke and praise the power of the sun.
Operation Renewable Hens Foot. Taxpayer may like it too ....being green n all that.

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