Report: NATO Effort to Court Taliban a Disaster

Trivial Number of Defectors, Many Rejoined Insurgency

by Jason Ditz, April 22, 2010

As NATO looks to spend more than $1 billion in bribe money set aside for trying to lure Taliban fighters away from the insurgency and into supporting the Karzai government, a new report reveals how much success they’ve had so far.

The report, by the Kabul-based Afghan Analysts Network, warns that the reintegration strategy is being run so poorly that it has only lured some 646 Taliban to defect, and only a handful of commanders.

The news gets worse. Out of the 646 defectors, a trivial number compared to the tens of thousands of estimated insurgents, many of them have actually abandoned their pledges and gone back to the Taliban as the situation continues to worsen.

Bribing the Taliban’s followers into accepting the Karzai government seemed like a good idea for many, and certainly cheaper than the endless war. But the grudging acceptance that only money can buy appears fleeting, and in the end is just giving the Taliban followers a bit of money in their pockets.

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