February 1st, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Could deal with Taliban fighters end war?

Editor's note: Tamim Ansary, an Afghan-born American writer, is the author of "Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes" and "The Widow's Husband."

"Re-integrating the Taliban."

Could that be a way to end the war in Afghanistan? Representatives of 70 nations met in London, England, this week to discuss that very idea. The plan was first floated several weeks ago by a key adviser to Afghanistan President Harmid Karzai, Masoom Stanekzai, and it has two parts: One, lure low-level Taliban fighters out of the insurgency with economic incentives and two, co-opt Taliban leaders by offering them a role in governing Afghanistan.

Part one of the Stanekzai program makes sense because it might split rank-and-file fighters away from instigators of the insurgency (I prefer the word "instigators" to "leaders.") Part two, however, will only end up delivering the government of Afghanistan to a new Talibanist group and betray the millions of urban modernist Afghans who have sided with the West over the last decade.

Read more of Ansary's column

Filed under: London conference • Taliban • Your View
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Major T

    You got to be @#%&* kidding me. These guys have been negotiating deals and lying to each other for thousands of years. They are two faced and never commit to anything. They only care for themselves and will switch sides quicker than the time it will take for our troops blood to dry on a rock in the Summer.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. Luis

    I am in shock with Mr. Faheem Nazimi comments. The afghan war is not only about Al Qaeda, drugs, and terrorism. It is also about human dignity, human rights and human freedom. It is a war to eliminate and obliterate fundamentalism in Islam. Islamic funtamentalism is evil and goes against the core of human rights. I will never want the free world to recreate a status quo like the cold war with an evil empire. The islamic culture is passing through its Dark Ages with a belief in World domination and DEATH to any non-believer. This because the Satanic verses in the Quram.

    The should be no negotiation with the Talibans or Al Qaeda. What you expose is like finishing WWII with peace negotiations with the NAZIs and the Sun Empire. No Way! Peace negotiations will hunt humanity in the future. Let's eliminate, obliterate all fundamentalism from the face of the Planet.

    I will never want my daughters and sons living in a hell hole ran by islamic or any other religion!

    For the sake of the future the stategy should be as follows; The Taliban must disappear from the face of the world, NO DEALS!

    February 14, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. cyrene

    the question is ,,,is the taliban willing to deal with the occupying force?

    February 8, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. steven harnack

    Hey Miichael, I must say that Chip seems to be a couple of cans short of a six-pack, but I saw no, zero, nada, references to Bush. You and chip have a lot in common in that neither of you had anything useful to say and your time would be better spent finding something constructive to do.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Charles H.

    The winning of hearts and minds is only achieved through total defeat of the enemy. Whether the victory is achieved through diplomacy or force of arms is merely academic. When waging war as the United States has done in Afghanistan the tactic of search and destroy will have as much success as the Russians had there and will prove to be as much of a failure as the tactics employed by the U.S. in Vietnam.

    The Taliban must be separated from their stronholds and gathering places in Pakistan. Their funding must be denied and lip service from any country who offers them sanctuary must be advised that they are either with us or against us regardless of how the rest of the world will view that stance.

    Occupation of Afghanistan must be achieved by our forces and every city and town of strategic value must be secured. The local populace of these cities and towns must be employed and those that will benefit from the deposition of the Taliban must be recruited.

    Local political structure must be maintained and leaders who are sympathetic towards the U.S. must be given the respect and authority to maintain governance over their areas of influence with the understanding that the U.S. will maintain military control and command.

    The requirement of a tremendous amount of troops and money will be needed not just a trickle of resources. Total warfare is expensive and something that the American people have little stomach for anymore, however, I believe that is what will be needed to win in Afghanistan. The loss of life has been great on all sides and many sacrifices have been made in every war we've ever been involved in. It just doesn't seem like the American people are willing to commit to this war and therefore success will be a long way off as it appears we are fighting a war on the terms of the Taliban.

    February 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |

    I feel sorry for Chip H, all that mis-informed nonsense spewing out of his mouth. Have you ever been to Afghanistan Chip? I´m here now and to call the Taliban "ignorant children" is one of the most assenine comments I´ve heard about this war, and interestingly enough makes you sound like an ignorant child. They may not be able to read and write but dont you for one second think that they are not shrewed and very capable, not to mention that they have a far better understanding of Afghanistan than you Chip H. War has been ongoing in this country for over thirty years, it´s bigger than the Bush administration, however I will concede many flaws in planning and support for the effort here that did occur during under his tenure.I find it humerous that you still harbor so much ill will toward Bush, he´s not the president!!! Focus harder on your boy in the Oval right now, what is he doing? Nothing, because politicians and agency type men who had an understanding of this place were voted out of office or are now retired. Obamas biggest concern right now is Obama, he doesnt want to be a first term fallout. Whats going to make decisive turns in this country is bold moves and BALLS!! Not Washington ego stroking. Do your research CHIP H, dont let whatever University you went to and the professors who "taught" you shape your view of the world, think, and be independant, put down the Kool Aid and rationalize a thought that comes from your mind not out of your ass!

    February 2, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ahmad Kabulistani

    Deal with Taliban means deal with the evil. Taliban is a not a political party to has some kind of plan for people progressive or prosperity, Taliban is a tool on the hand of ISI of Pakistan. If Nato wants to make deal it suppose to make deal with Pakistan. Most of Taliban are Pakistanis not Afghanis. The only way is to destroy completely the Taliban not share them in Afghan government. Most of the Afghan people hate Taliban.

    February 2, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. faheem Nazimi

    Peace in Afghanistan is more determined by the US than Taliban

    By: Faheem Nazimi ANALYST
    From what one can gather from the atmospherics and the development around us,
    London conference is a step in the right direction, but it seems that Taliban will not kow-tow to enticement. Equal partnership and recognition of their rights and entitlements to political power and integration based on honesty and fair dealing only can mellow them towards the US and coalition. This can only happen when the intellectual osmosis of the understanding of the Taliban reality is fully completed by the US in realizing the fact of their political struggle and the acceptance of the Taliban on equal status as any other political force in Afghanistan with out any prejudice by bringing them at least to level of Northern alliance in terms of their share of political power and other treatments.

    The more the US and coalition allow for the erection of a similar paradigm to that of pre 2001, the more will bring them more closer to achieving their goals in Afghanistan. A recent statement released by Taliban in relation to the London conference has made it abundantly clear that they are prepared to cut off their ties with Al-Qaeda. In their statement the say “The Taliban Emirate is committed to take measures for the fulfillment of our countrymen educational needs in the light of Islam and the requirements of the contemporary world.” This would mean that they are committed to modern education and the requirement of contemporary modern world. These are all good signs of their willingness to compromise and rapprochement. In the light of these developments Taliban demands for the release of their prisoners and removal of the names of their members from the terrorist black list only a small demand and is a good will gesture on the part of the US. One can see that they are trying to distance themselves from their current identity as perpetrators of violence and terrorism as Afghans have never been terrorists and Islamic extremism is a new phenomenon in Afghanistan.

    Apparently Taliban’s recognition of the Afghan constitution is the only obstacle in the way of them to be recognized by the US and coalition as a true political movement that has so much at stake as the real driver of stability and peace in Afghanistan, taking on board the fact that they pursue as pledged in their statement a domestic agenda and cause no threat to any body in the world. The sooner the Taliban and the US roll back on this agenda the better.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chip H

    Karzai's re-election SOTU speech announced boiled down to:

    1) Peace, Reconciliation, Reintegration (PRR) with the Taliban; and all the attendant $10B of American's last remaining life savings that program will bring to the Kabul Mafia koffers;

    2) Radically increased security forces; and all the attendant $10B of American's last remaining life savings that program will bring to the Kabul Mafia koffers;

    3) Good Governance™, because you can't run a good MLM marketing program without a good slogan, and after all, we're the 'Good Guys in the Good Governance' business!

    The problem Karzai has is Haiti. Haiti, Haiti, Haiti, every night, horrible human suffering, tears, monstrous problems of reconstruction (although the US just bugged out of that one).
    And not one Taliban to frog-march in front of the cameras. The Taliban don't get captured.

    Wait! Wait, wait, I get it! The PRR is just Cowboys and Indians! You need some captured Geronimos lying about the fort in shackles and $22 a day dole to troop in front of the TV!

    Look! See! Tango! Tango, Tango, Tango. Give me more money!

    This strategy worked perfectly for Bush-Cheney, except they used 'WMD's.

    Look! See! WMD's, WMD's WMD's. Golden doubloons, a TRILLION from the heavens!!

    I promised I would not prognosticate, but can't help it.

    These are ignorant children, the Taliban. Brainwashed, kidnapped orphans who can neither read, nor write. All they know is the 'slave government' in Kabul is a tool of the 'infidel'.
    Offering them $22 a day to disarm and lay about some some zoo polar bear is NOT going to happen. More likely, Karzai will pay ACTORS to pretend to be former Taliban. We are already paying American actors to pretend to be Taliban here in Calfornia, at CAMOUT!

    Then when American workers are screaming on the picket lines that their *last remaining life savings* are being used to PAY OUR TALIBAN ENEMY A WELFARE CHECK, they can trot them out on TV, like Geronimo in shackles, and all the real Taliban in FATA and NWFP watching on their i-Phones can grab their guns and their bombs and woo-woo off toward Kabul to start some more mischief.

    You can't run the most successful MLM 'war' scam in human history without woo-woo's.

    February 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JC

    Deal with Taliban fighters is one of the factors will contribute to end war.
    And there are follows:
    1. Drug dealers, Muslim Extremists, Al Queda
    2. Muslim religion : Sunni & Shia between Saudi Arabia/Pakistan & Iran...
    3. Iseali & Palestan.

    I believe Obama's administration team has a better chance to deal with it.
    And pray for the success. One reason, my vote goes to him.

    BTW, the super-tribe actions are more priority than deal with Taliban.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Larry

    If it doesn't work here!!! How do You expect it to work there??? The Democrats & Republicans can't get together to make a plan that will work for This Country!!! Know way will they ever be able to do it in That Country!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hawaii Resident

    I really hope that attacks on school girls along with the export of drugs will come to an end.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hawaii Resident

    I believe that this is where we prove that we are intelligent enough to sculpture a masterpiece.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Connie Williams

    It only takes one Taliban leader to dissent on any agreement to send the world spiraling back into battle with these forces of evil.
    And lets not forget why we are in Afghanistan, to prevent the spread of terrorism. To prevent another 9/11 or one of our cites becoming vaporized. It seems like we are going to have to win or we will lose. And what is at stake if we lose may be western society as we know it.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A. Smith, Oregon

    No deals with evil people!

    The West needs to look carefully at Hard Core Muslim edicts and laws. Deals are seen only as temporary, and specifically only worth 1 year at most. Then they are either re-payed for another year after a size able amount of 'bribes' or taxes or money has been given and renewed for another year.

    The West needs to shut down the funding to the Taliban. Destroy all of the poppy fields in Afghanistan and seriously negotiate with Saudi Arabia on placing as many obstacles as possible to the flow of Oil dollars into the war machine of the Taliban.

    The West needs to sit down with Saudi Arabia and tell them that if they continue to export their radical notions of the Muslim religion, they'll be the ones that are held responsible for the impact from the millions of radical Muslim books they publish and hand-out around the world.

    Its time for America to stop fighting proxy wars on behalf of Saudi Arabia whose agenda in no way is reflected in core American values.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |