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Breaking News: Afghan Reintegration Plan

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  • Breaking News: Afghan Reintegration Plan

    Things are starting to happen following today’s London 70-nation conference on Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai unveiled his plan for “reintegration” of Taliban rank-and-file fighters into the mainstream of Afghan life. The US and major players support the move and western industrialized nations have pledged over $140 million to fund the reintegration effort, including direct payments for rallying former Taliban fighters. Here are some links with different perspectives on the conference results so far:

    Voice of America
    Christian Science Monitor

    Pakistan has volunteered to act as a mediator between Kabul and the Taliban, and there is a growing sense that direct talks between Karzai and at least some low-level Taliban leaders will be necessary. The plan does not include reconciliation with senior Taliban officials, but rather is aimed at winning over the Taliban rank-and-file. Yesterday American envoy Richard Holbrooke argued, “The overwhelming majority of these people are not ideological supporters of Mullah Omar and Al Qaeda. 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.”

    There are some reservations about dealing with the Taliban, particularly among Afghan women who remember what a hell-hole the country was for them under the Taliban last time. It’s not an issue which should get lost in the shuffle, but the truth is that any lasting peace in Afghanistan has to involve a substantial number of the guys out there carrying AKMs and RPGs.

    Meantime, a major Pashtun tribe has come on-board with the ...


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