US Quietly Slips Funds Into Military Bill to Pay Off Taliban

$1.3 Billion Authorized for "Re-Integration" Program

by Jason Ditz, October 27, 2009

The $680 billion US military funding bill that passed late last week saw its share of controversy over pet projects, attempts to block the Guantanamo Bay closure, and new curbs on aid to Pakistan.

Less talked about however was the $1.3 billion clause quietly slipped into the bill to support the “re-integration into Afghan society” of those Taliban which renounce violence.

What this ultimately means is that the US will be directly paying off elements of the Taliban seen as less ideological, something officials have been talking about for quite some time.

Sen. Levin is presenting it as a way to help “former Taliban fighters to protect their communities” but with the momentum going the Taliban’s way the supply of former Taliban is likely in short supply. In all likelihood much of the funding will go directly into the coffers of existing Taliban fighters in an attempt to convince them to switch sides.

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