Afghan Peace Deal Would Promise Jobs to Taliban Fighters

$160 Million Trust Fund Aims at Political Resolution

Several months after the creation of a $160 million internationally-funded “trust fund” for the Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation Program, the Karzai government is near putting that plan into action.

Following the upcoming peace jirga in Kabul, the government’s draft plan insists, low and mid-level insurgents will be courted with promises of jobs and vocational training.

The idea behind this plan is that with sufficient funding the rank and file members of the various insurgent groups would be convinced to abandon the fight and cut off support for the high ranking leadership.

Several have expressed concerns, however, that the plan will accomplish little except provide small sums of money to people who will be no more loyal to the Afghan government and no more disloyal to the Taliban than they were to begin with.

The US military, meanwhile, is putting its latest war plan to its paces, and is said to be finding it seriously wanting. The latest in several official strategy changes over the last few years, the McChrystal Plan is already straining under the weight of enormous expectations, and leaving growing doubt about its wisdom.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.