January 27th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Sixty nations gather to eye Taliban plan

Representatives from 60 nations will meet in London on Thursday for a conference on Afghanistan, looking at the future and that well-used phrase "the way ahead." The one-day conference will be co-hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghanistan President Karzai and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. (Karzai speaks to the media with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, above).

After so many years of war, this conference will focus heavily on trying to reach a peace with at least some Taliban fighters.

Sen. Carl Levin, Democrat from Michigan and the Armed Services Committee chairman, just returned from Afghanistan. "[A] thing to watch is whether or not President Karzai and we can come up with a program for reintegration of those lower level Taliban which will chip away at the power of the Taliban and help to support the efforts of the Afghan security forces," he said.

At Thursday's summit, Karzai is expected to ask for $500 million for an initiative to offer jobs and homes to moderate Taliban fighters, helping them return to civilian life.

U.S. commanders acknowledge the need to bring at least some lower level Taliban leaders into the political and social fabric of Afghanistan. When asked if the Taliban could play a role in the future of Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top military commander, said, "I think any Afghans can play a role if they focus on the future, and not the past."

But reality remains harsh. U.S. military intelligence calculates the Taliban now have shadow governments in 33 of 34 provinces - raising questions about whether they see a need to come to the negotiating table.

Related: Your view: Negotiating with the Taliban

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. ajit26

    The Afganistan problem must be settlrd by them selves. People who do not understand their culture, their values thr religon as practiced in their country and their problems cannot solve this problem.Western countries must keep away and not try to impose their values and thoughts as they alien to this mixed society. Look back to history and you will observe that where ever these so called interested parties from the west have participated in Asian country problems they have only helped in increasing the problem.
    while appreciating your intrest.it is you the western nations that created this mess due to your meddling in the affairs of a country.please forget your wested intrests in the natural resources available in Afganistan.
    see what happened in Korea.Vietnam and vietnam
    Look at the mess in Iraq and the middle east

    January 28, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. rohi

    A fight/war will only result in loss and destruction for both the waring parties in some way or the other. US restoring peace by guns will only result in casuality and destruction for both sides he will suffer less but loss will be there .Peace can only come with non violence.Fire cant be put off by fire but wid water its wrong approach and soon US will realise but after sacrifising a lot of lives of both US/Afgans and in the end only family of the deceased suffers .No loss of life can be compensated.Pls do not let ppl die i.e both US and afgan citizens in the name of peace. I urge President Obama to initiate a process of dialogue now between the waring parties.Afgans have already suffered a lot in history lets all come together hand holding him helping him to come out of this crisis.All other methods of peace will fail if our approach is not right.Pls citizens of US help in doin so.

    January 28, 2010 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. timothyn

    When you try to raise corrupt puppet governments, it is bound to end in failure. The Russians tried this and now we are going down the same road. This is very obvious in the case of Afghanistan: the fact the Taliban are getting stronger and have shadow governments throughout Afghanistan.

    The only reason the current Afghan govt even exists is because we have over 100,000 troops there protecting it - do you realize that as soon as we pull out, the Taliban will take over within days?

    I would not be surprised if the Afghans refuse to pay taxes to the corrupt/weak government and pay it to the Taliban instead (or be forced to do so by the Taliban).

    January 28, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dinesh

    Heat on Pakistan & keep away Parvez Mushraff from this discussion would be more Fruitful.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. linda in AR

    Remind me again why we are nation building in Afghanistan. Is there 100 AQ there? Where is the ghost of all ghosts, OBL? After Tora Bora what was the mission: Kick out the Taliban that had supressed the opium trade and install the King of Korruption in Kabul?

    Does it have to do with human rights and Sharia law? So why do all these nations sleep with Saudi Arabia?

    Has the GWOT made Pakistan more stable? Or just filled 10% Zardari's pockets, again?

    Has the pipeline been built from Iran to India? Will China gain the most with the copper mines or will the contractors/MERCS get the most gold?

    If given an option would the Tajiks vote to become part of Tajikistan? Would the 'people' vote to create a Pashtunistan?

    Will another $500 Million buy us love? Or will taking US troops out of body armor make more friends? Will training tribal militias to use M-16s as well as AK-47s make us safer? I think not. It's past time to end the Great Game and the Long War that bleeds our econonies making OBL's goal a reality.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Omar

    To: Rajjab al Ghashiyyah

    The really Islam never say to kill innocent people around the world. Have you seen in Afghanistan every day Talibans are trying to kill innocen children, women and men. Do you think Talibans are really and pure Muslims. If you think so, you should read the truth about Islam and life of Mohammed peace be upon Him. At that time, no one was killed for being non-muslim and all the religions were respect equally. All the Talibans are killers and criminals and they should be punished. There is no forgiveness for Criminals and killers. Afghan people are tried of Kariza Government because he is the one who forgive the criminals of our country. Kariza forgeo that his own father was killed by these killers.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Al Amiri

    Western world must get the hell out of Afghanistan, leave these people live their lives the way they wish to live. Western countries cannot educate these people if they don't want to be educated. Isolation is the key to solve their internal problems. Western world must set an example and be a role-model, not an evangelist force. The days of crusaders are long gone and free world is almost on the horizon. The Modern world must interact with one another willingness, freely and complying with the rules and requirement. Should any country decline our rule of game, they should be left isolated economically and socially. Amazingly it will work, when they realize the rest of world is successful and moving on as comfortable as can be expected. Humans are not stupid, they may be uneducated but soon all human will follow a successful system of free living. Western world must show them how is done by practice not by force or gun.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Razzaqk Al Hassan

    You really beleive this is prophecy that islam will fufill? This is a brutal war brought on by islam its self. Islam (albeit the extreme version) led these nations to invade Afghanistan weilding the mighty shield of freedom. Islam is starting to terrorize the world and make those who are not believers succumb to the pressure of death under terrorism. How is that prophecy that should be fufilled? To kill innocents... as you would call them "Infidels" just because they do not beleive in Islam. I would stand with those who want Freedom like the US and Great Britian and France and Germany. Before i would fall to the sword of Islam just for not believing in such a terroristic and brutal faith. I hope that terror and the likes of islam fall to a lonely end.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dr.Virginia Lubell

    Being an old lady and coming to the end of my life I can only say how very sad I am. What we know for certain is this ... we are all One Humanity. Any man can give life to any woman. And when a woman gives birth to the children, they come out of her body naked and equal.

    We have used our amazing mind to create languages, viewpoints, religions and ideas and we use all those things to see ourselves as different from one another.

    As for our humanity we have chosen to fight rather than live in Peace and that is where my sorrow comes from. Each day, every individual makes a choice ... live in peace and live with equality or fight someone.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Faisa Fatah

    You cannot proceed to a peace process if the route of the problem is still existing in the way of the solution. America itself has no right to be situated in Afghanistan's homeland territory for no reason. Do we know why they are there in the first place?...because its definatley not about 9/11 or the war on terror; Iraq already got its so called"consequences" for that which is also still invalid to begin with. American soldiers go in this country; a country of great need and support and what do they do... they kill people with evidence for being guilty. See thats not funny at all. Do you think if a soldier came to my household an killed one member of my family that I would sit their talk to them about their newly elected president? no way, I would take my responsibility in his revenge and make sure he get what he deserves. See, the only difference between the taliban and the american soldier is that the taliban comes out as the terrorist and the american comes out as the hero even though he killed unlawfully. Every politician, senator, and congressmen, know the real truth about the war on terror and Afganistans real role in it. So if it going to reach the extent that a 17 year old Canadian girl feels that she needs to comment on this issue, it proves surely evident that there are people out there being wronged for an no one is doing anything about it. And they want to talk about whats "the way ahead.".....lol see thats funny

    January 27, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rajjab al Ghashiyyah

    what to do they now understand what really means Islam and lions of Islam even they are not heavy-armed they are triumphing in the battles against zion\xtian allience how they have done against Gr.Britain and Soviet Union before there is a prophecy for these lions that they will be unstoppable and they will reach Al-Aqsa and that we are seeing that sterp by step that prophecy is being acomplished.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |