Tuesday, March 10, 2009

VP Biden on Afghanistan

From Bloomberg:

Biden Sees Possible Conversion of 70% of Taliban in Afghanistan

Vice President Joe Biden said at least 70 percent of Taliban guerrillas in Afghanistan are mercenaries who could be persuaded to lay down their arms, stepping up U.S. calls for outreach to “moderate” elements of the insurgency.

Biden said the same tactics used in Anbar province in Iraq, where radical Sunni Muslims were co-opted by American financial support, could work in Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s strategy for winning the war raging since 2001.

“Five percent of the Taliban is incorrigible, not susceptible to anything other than being defeated,” Biden told a press conference at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels today. “Another 25 percent or so are not quite sure, in my view, of the intensity of their commitment to the insurgency. Roughly 70 percent are involved because of the money.”

Because of the money. That makes sense. But I have to ask: what do these men do once we give them the money? Do they become our allies? Or are we buying off enemies who intend to remain enemies?

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