Battleland

Afghanistan: Bribing the Taliban May Be Paying Off

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Taliban fighters surrender their weapons / UN photo by Fraidoon Poya

We’ve written more than once about the willingness of Afghan militants – most are so-called “$10 Taliban,” fighting simply for the paycheck — to lay down their arms if the price is right:

Vice President Joe Biden has estimated that only 5% of those fighting for the Taliban are “incorrigible, not susceptible to anything other than being defeated,” while 70% are in it only for the money. The remaining 25%, he said, fall in between. So if the U.S. opted to pay all Taliban fighters $20 a day — double what they get now — to stop fighting, that would amount to a $300,000 daily bill, or one-fifth of 1% of the war’s current cost to the U.S. taxpayers of $133 million a day.

Glad to see the notion is catching on.

The London Sunday Independent reports that British forces in Afghanistan are paying former Taliban fighters 100 pounds a month – that’s about $155 – to stop fighting down during a three-month “re-integration” period:

The “reintegration” programme, which has the full support of Nato, is intended to keep them from attacking troops from the International Stabilisation and Assistance Force (ISAF). Those who have attacked and killed British forces are also effectively given an amnesty, which means they will never be put on trial. The amnesty extends to all Taliban fighters, including those who have taken part in atrocities, such as murdering children, beheadings and hanging women.

No word on how they keep track to ensure those reintegrated don’t return to the Taliban camp after pocketing the pounds.

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