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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:52 AM
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US supports Afghan plan to reintegrate Taliban
Source: AP/WP

US supports Afghan plan to reintegrate Taliban

The Associated Press
Sunday, January 17, 2010; 9:36 AM

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.


Holbrooke, who had a heated meeting last year with Karzai over the fraud-stained Afghan presidential election, spoke at town hall-style event in the Afghan capital of Kabul where about 40 academics, videographers, representatives from non-governmental organizations, radio broadcasters and others were invited to ask Holbrooke questions. Their inquiries ranged from questions about reintegration and corruption to U.S. economic assistance and the Pakistani intelligence service's involvement in violence in the region - a question Holbrooke declined to answer.


"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."

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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:55 AM
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1. Excellent. Kung-fu diplomacy.
Holbrooke knows, and Obama knows, Karzai's slipping in power. And Karzai's response has been to ratchet up anti-U.S. sentiment.

Extending an olive branch to the Taliban, even if they never plan on going through with it, makes Karzai increasingly impotent.

Ball's in Karzai's court, now. :D
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boomerbust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:32 AM
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2. Ya, they see it coming
Helicopter rescue of US diplomats from the rooftop of US embassy in Kabul, circa Saigon in mid seventies.
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