Britain is ready to contribute millions of dollars to a fund to buy off Taliban gunmen who are fighting British troops in southern Afghanistan.
More than 60 delegations, from Colombia to Australia, will gather in Lancaster House Thursday Morning to draw up an exit strategy from Afghanistan. Much of it is based on reintegrating the Taliban rank and file, wooing the Taliban leadership and gradually handing security to the Afghan Army and police.
The conference is expected to agree a $500 million, five-year fund for President Karzai to “buy off” insurgents who are not ideologically committed to destroying the West.
And which ones are those?
“Downing Street confirmed that Britain will make a contribution of a “few million.” Germany has agreed to $70 million over five years and the bulk of the money will come from the Japanese aid budget to Afghanistan, diplomats suggested.
……“The overwhelming majority of these people are not ideological supporters of Mullah Omar [the fugitive Taliban leader] and Al Qaeda,” Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said. “Based on interviews with prisoners, returnees, experts, there must be at least 70 percent of these people who are not fighting for anything to do with those causes.”
The Taliban, who are monitoring the conference, predicted that the approach would fail and described the move as a trick. In a statement on their Web site, the group said that offers of economic incentives would not draw away fighters because the militants were not fighting for “money, property and position; but for Islam and to end the foreign military presence”.
So why don’t the “70%” lay down their RPGs, AKs, and stop planting IEDs? If you have to buy the loyalty of enemy combatants—more importantly—if you trust these bastards, it speaks volumes about your judgement.