Posted by: Tony Carson | 30 October, 2009

Buying off the Taliban

Payolla. The tactic worked in Iraq to encourage the Sunni minority to stop aiming their rifles at the Americans. Now it’s going to be tried in Afghanistan.

And it has a good chance of working there, too.

Only a relatively small faction of the amorphous Taliban can be described as militant and terrorist, and few Taliban are ideologues. The vast majority of Taliban are woefully uneducated — couldn’t find the USA on a map; are poverty-struck; want little more than to get rid of the occupiers and be left alone.

Outside of Afghanistan (and Pakistan) the Taliban pose no threat to the US. Inside? Well, who likes an occupying army.

The poppy is the base of the Afghanistan economy and there ain’t much else. The unemployment rate is astronomical with few prospects of a wage. US bucks as a means to lure men away from the influence of the militant Taliban leadership and towards protecting their own communities seems a particular sane idea, especially given that it costs $1.3 million to keep a GI in Afghanistan for a year. How many Talies could you buy off for $1.3 million.

Paying for peace is becoming a cost-efficient off-shoot of diplomacy.

Of course, it would make a lot more sense not to put your country into these prediaments in the first place.

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