Karzai to announce new scheme for forging peace with Taliban - US agrees
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 10:05 AM by bigtree
__ The plan would be announced ahead of a key international conference set for London on January 28 at which the country's security and development will be discussed, said spokesman Waheed Omar.
Conceding that past efforts at peace have failed, Omar said the new plan would include economic incentives, as many men carrying guns for the Taliban do so for cash rather than ideology.
"We have not been able to provide proper security for those who join the government. We may have not been very good at providing them with economic opportunities, jobs and anything else anybody would want after reintegration," he said.
"The scheme we are proposing this time is taking all those into consideration and learning from the past and trying to come up with a proper programme where we have all the necessary ground to allow those joining the programme to have a peaceful life," he said.
Omar said the reintegration programme would reach out to all ranks, from the political leadership to fighters on the ground.
KABUL -- The U.S. supports a proposal to lure fighters with no strong allegiance to terrorists away from the insurgency and reintegrate them into Afghan society, the American special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan said Sunday.
Richard Holbrooke said he talked with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday about a plan the government is crafting to offer jobs, vocational training and other economic incentives to tens of thousands of Taliban foot soldiers willing to switch sides after eight years of war.
"We completely support the program as it develops," Holbrooke said. "The majority of the people fighting with the Taliban are not supporters of (Taliban leader) Mullah Omar. They're not supporters of the ideology of al-Qaida. They don't even know who al-Qaida is and yet they fight because they've been misled by false information."
The Taliban demand that foreign troops leave Afghanistan as a precondition for attending peace negotiations amounts to a request for the international community to give up, Holbrooke said.
"Everyone knows the great tradition in Afghanistan of throwing out the foreign invaders - from Alexander the Great, to the British, to the Russians - but we are not here in the same context," he said. "We are here to help you regain your independence and to help you build up your own security forces. And after that, the troops will depart. And what the Taliban demand amounts to is surrender ... and that will return your country to the black years and nobody wants that."
1. If this succeeeds this will go a long way in ensuring a successful outcome in Afghanistan
If Karzai and the US manage to divide the Taliban, it would be a devastating blow to Al-Qaeda and the radical elements that would remain of the hostile Taliban. They would be weakened to the point of extinction. Victory is achieved not just by force of arms but by intelligent strategy.
4. Peace is the ultimate objective and the sooner and more actively the US and our Allies
talk about it and work toward it the better it is all the way around. As for the coordination from all I have been reading it sounds like the US is taking a more more intelligent approach to things, so I am anticipating that this will not be done in a sloppy or haphazard fashion.
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