May 17th, 2010
08:23 AM ET

Can the Taliban really be reintegrated?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai plans a peace "jirga" with tribal leaders later this month to discuss a reintegration plan for Taliban members who renounce violence and lay down their arms.

But persuading the Taliban to do that - and the process with which to accomplish it - raises more questions than answers, experts said.

"It's not clear whether there's a serious common ground between Karzai and his enemies," said Paul Staniland, who studies international security and insurgent groups at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "All of the reconciliation plans have been somewhat vague about what the ultimate end state is."

Relations between Karzai and President Obama have been tense recently. In April, Karzai lashed out at foreign governments - including the United States - that demanded he clean up corruption within the government. In an eye-raising move, Karzai indicated that he'd be willing to join the Taliban.

But a lot has changed in a month. Last week, during a weeklong visit to the United States, Karzai made a 180-degree turn - offering his support for Obama's plan in the war-torn region, including cleaning up government corruption and building up the Afghan police force as the United States looks to start removing troops by July 2011.

"We are in a campaign against terrorism together," Karzai said. "There are days that we are happy; there are days that we are not happy. It's a mutual relationship towards a common objective."

Obama has signaled that the United States is willing to support Karzai's reintegration plan, and said that part of getting the Taliban to renounce violence and make peace "depends on our effectiveness in breaking their momentum militarily."

Richard Fontaine, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security, said the reality behind the renewed relations is to find a way to "hasten the successful conclusion of our war there."

"And particularly after the experience in Iraq with tribes switching sides, I think there's a large appetite to see what's possible on the reintegration side," said Fontaine, who has worked as a foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.

The idea of getting the Taliban to switch sides is nothing new. In October 2009, the president signed a $680 billion defense appropriations bill that included a plan to pay members of the Taliban to renounce violence and work with the Afghan government. The goal was to give U.S. commanders on the ground the ability to pick off low-level Taliban members.

There has been an amnesty program for low-level Taliban in place for many years and thousands have taken advantage of it.

Staniland, who contributes to Foreign Policy magazine, said he wouldn't be surprised if there were some low-level, back-channel communications going on between U.S. representatives and people linked in some way with the Taliban.

"Formal negotiations or direct contact with the Taliban command structure is far less likely, but intermediaries and people claiming to have knowledge of the Taliban are plausible targets for informal U.S. engagement."

Another question likely to come up in peace talks is what the Afghan government will give up in exchange for the Taliban giving up its power.

"Imagine the Taliban saying 'we want to share power in the central government.' That's not really something Karzai, or the U.S., is interested in," Staniland said.

"On one hand, you want to flip over some of these guys and use them to break the Taliban," he added. "On the other hand, you also want to create a central government that has power [over] these places. So if you're giving power to defectors to break the Taliban, that means you're giving up some of the government's power in these [Taliban] areas."

One thing the United States would unlikely be interested in: accepting the reintegration of radicals like Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"I would think that Omar would be outside of our red lines in terms of people we would want to talk to about coming back in Afghanistan and the government," Fontaine said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that having that conversation with Mullah Omar "would be pretty tough."

There are questions about how Karzai's reintegration process would work.

"The problem is that this is a complex and unpredictable process and we don't know which way it will go," a senior State Department official said. "He [Karzai] doesn't have a big program; there is no negotiating team yet. We are just starting to think about these political issues. When we say we want to support Afghan-led integration, we want to help them shape how it looks.

"We will support a viable process, which means he has to have one," the official said.

Part of that shaping process will be persuading the Taliban to back a centralized government and its human rights laws.

"That has to mean an acceptance of all the Afghan Constitution, including its human rights provisions and everything else, because it cannot be anything like a return to the Taliban's social system that they had in place for 2001," said Fontaine. "The stated objective of the Taliban is to rework the nature of the Afghan government so it's based once again on Sharia law."

It's a point Obama hammered home after his meeting with Karzai.

"What we've said is that so long as there's a respect for the Afghan Constitution, rule of law, human rights; so long as they are willing to renounce violence and ties to al Qaeda and other extremist networks, that President Karzai should be able to work to reintegrate those individuals into Afghan society."

Maryland Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, just back from Afghanistan, said the reintegration process cannot exclude women's rights.

"There has to be an agreement [by the Taliban] to adhere to the constitution and to renouncing violence and terrorism," she said. "And so you get those things and maybe a peace process can work, but I'm telling you with certainty, nothing will work if Afghan women aren't engaged, and so we can't have them thrown under the bus because we want to cut a deal with the tribal leaders and the Taliban."

– CNN Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Karzai • Obama • Taliban • White House
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Azm

    The Indians should not try to lay the foundition of thier death. when US bow down to Taliban the Indian should mind thier own business otherwise they will mislead thier own affairs.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Azm

    I am from Afghanistan and this the key question. You can ask CIA whether they want to close thier bussiness of Talib or Al Qaeda. If US wants to reintegrate them yes they can do and to Layla. Miss. Layala I think you havent been to Bagram?

    June 8, 2010 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Layla


    May 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Georgia Goad

    Sorry, got carried away, insurgents attacked the base....GeeGee

    May 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Georgia Goad

    Pardon me Alex, I don't think what we are doing in Afghanistan right now is called "at arms length", but I can see your point. There is that money thing again......not the solution to all! Maybe we should back up to the main page of CNN here and read all about the US Base getting hit by the Taliban. 1010 and listening in....GeeGee

    May 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alex

    Afghans can't be dealt with on an arms-lenght basis. They will betray you and are always looking out for themsleves. Them taking the money is not an issue. Them delivering anything in exchange is a huge issue. Somehow someone needs to figure out a way in making China conquer that hellhole and absorb the population.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Georgia Goad

    Just passing by and thought I would look in to see what my armchair debators were doing, can't stay long, but how in the world did Nazis, Jews and Taliban get in the same conversation?? Have to get back to work (some of us do you know) but I will see you guys later....Geegee

    May 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chuckster

    The real problem with Afganistan is their Prez. Karzi, who continues to deal with the Terrorist Organization the Taliban. This guy must be stupid and has not learned his lesson yet. The whole reason that we are in their country now is because the Taliban was hiding Bin Laden, the mastermind of 911. And is it really fair to allow these tards to rule over people who have no say in it at all???? They will be in charge of a certain territory and all those that live there will be subject to Sharia Law. I don't understand why they can't just kill all the Taliban Tards, they lie just like they did in Swat Valley. Maybe Karzi will some day learn this lesson, I say get rid of him and put some one else in power to really make some positive changes for that country!!! Karzi is NOT the ANSWER!!!!!!!!

    May 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobbib bhbvhj,v

    dont eat me

    May 19, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. bobbib bhbvhj,v

    help me!!!!

    May 19, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. bobbib bhbvhj,v

    watr u talking about

    May 19, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. OC

    Considering the sheer hatred and contempt the Taliban hold for women, it's unlikely they can be integrated into a modern society. Not that Afghanistan is a modern society, but they've no hope of moving towards becoming one while half the population is under a gender apartheid.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. tonyl

    This is an idea that may or may not work but it's worth a try. We may be able to create a split in Taliban forces. Some will reintegrate willingly, some may do it hesitantly others may not and some may even say yes and then go back to their old ways. But we may be able to cut their forces and create a confusion among the enemy. We were able to succeed in Iraq with same strategy. I believe it's worth a try and we have nothing to loose any way. Eventually we have to leave. We cannot stay there for ever and keep fighting for ever.

    May 19, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rayal

    I have to say it, but its a bit nerve racking, but I no longer believe in religions. I use to, but no more. Mostly because so much of it is like fairy tales, make believe, twisted history, and then add in the goofy Muslim extremists with their ridiculous bombing of innocent people, and Christians with their extremist history as well, all under the name of God. Any God too, no discrimination here.

    In my life time I have seen so much senseless murders and killings under the righteous name of religions that I no longer care for any of it. Catholic priests have been proven to be molesters, and the Pope remains silent....what the hell is that? Taliban throwing acid on young teen age girls, burning and blowing up schools. Al-Qaeda killing innocent people in 9/11 and in their own local markets with suicide bombs strapped to young men who are disillusioned about the world. Taliban covering their women in burqas and treating them like they were dogs. Iran killing their own citizens so their goofy dictator Ahmadinejad can stay in power, and all the extremists talking Islam and love out of one side of their mouth, and yet killing people indiscriminately and saying it is 'God's will' out of the other side.

    I'm sick of it, and I hope the U.S, attacks with all guns blazing and killing every damn one of the extremists. Unbelievers..? You ignorant cavemen will never get it, and you are insuring the eventual extermination of your own people by your own religious beliefs that have not proven nothing...nothing at all.

    Rock back and forth while you memorize your verses, but in the end you have condemned your innocent Islamic people and all Muslims as well.

    If Muslims or Islamic followers can't police their own extremists because they're afraid, well those of us who use common sense can and will. They are a primitive religion living in the 8th century...there is no way in hell they would ever convert me even with a gun to my head. Prey on the innocent and make them your bombers....that is a horrible way to try and make people believe in your ridiculous religion. This is the modern world, and either you join the rest of us, or plan on being extinct. Not by war, but by common elimination known as survival of the fittest. Trust me when I say the extremists are not fit for human kind, that is just common sense which they have none.

    May 18, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Layla


      May 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Achmed the dead terrorist

    Ah come on Ed. Can't we keep just one Taliban for display? Like in a zoo or museum?

    May 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ed

    The Taliban, by their own admission, wants nothing more than to either kill every non-muslim on the planet and enslave those Muslims who disagree with them. The only way to "reintegrate" the Taliban is to kill each and every one of them. They are murdering extremists who only want to control most of the middle east.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  17. matt28

    We will not defeat the Taliban, sorry to be the bad guy. Low tech will beat High-Tech at the end of the day, look at all of the other insurgecies that have happened. That's why it is so difficult to kill these F's because they ride on camels and send messages by word of mouth. They can't be bought off because they don't want money. So what the hell are we still doing there? No we are not becoming safer by having our troops over there to avenge 9/11. Then a month ago on fox I see Geraldo Rivera interviewing a col. and he is talking about his troops guarding poppy fields. I think conspiracies are BS most of the time but there has to be another reason we are over there besides 9/11. What the hell is going on?

    May 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Disgusted with warmongers

    The war in Afghanistan is the perpetuation of a homicidal, resource-acquisition-driven, military-industrialist onslaught that is controlling such war-making policy. There is no control over the military. The president is owned by the people and special interests who financed his election. Afghanistan will prove to be a failure of the next president who, no doubt, will be forced to recall the army to stateside to restore order in a society deteriorating and marked by widespread unemployment. We are seeing the collapse of federalism. The world will be a better place when the US military focuses on Americans domestically, who, at least, are better armed, and leaves the innocents of other countries alone.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jack

    Afghanistan's low literacy rate has made it difficult to stabilize the country. Without a middle class the poor are at the mercy of the religious fanatics and the religious fantics like that way.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Manmohan Lal


    I like that idea very much but I would prefer all of you and the muslims to convert to Hinduism. The real religion of peace. So what if you guys will start off with Shooder caste. Your 9th generation will definitely become a sacred Brahmin if you guys treat your higher caste well.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  21. C. Canty

    Muslims converting to Christianity or to any other religion is the solution for a lasting peace. Why Christian Arabs dont share the same antagonistic views as Muslims? I think, Western Christian Churches need to support Old Traditional Christian Churches in the Middle East to expand their Arab traditions and beliefs to Muslims otherwise our moral and ethical values will be distorted.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Justin

    I don't know what else we can do. Spending the next 20 years attempting to 'crush and destroy' the Taliban and Al Queda is not really a realistic goal. Sure we can disable their networks and make them somewhat ineffective...but it's unlikely that we can destroy their ideals. It's impossible to destroy an intangible asset like 'ideals' and 'ideas' or at least not on a realistic time-scale. It would take at least decades or maybe even centuries for these ideals to fade away and be forgotten.

    I know many of you believe we are fighting a justified and holy fight against what we perceive as evil. But maybe the problem is Afghanistan doesn't really want democracy, or at least not as we practice it. Just because it has worked well for us in the west, is it right to cram our ideals and beliefs down their throats and claim we're doing it right and they're doing it wrong? That point of view is extremely arrogant, and is a big part of the problem. It's like we're developing this government around Afghanistan and for the Afghanistan people without their input. It's too unilateral. The Afghan people need to be involved in this process, it is their country after all, they should have a say in how their country develops.

    The narrow US view of "their government must be like ours" or it's a no-go, must become more adaptable.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Huh?

    Too many nutjobs on this messageboard...

    May 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  24. ADW

    Too bad our forces don't have flamethrowers. Would like to see the mountain ranges be firebombed across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. If eradicating these demons were as easy as killing Nazis then we be putting them in one giant camp and then dropping a tactical nuke on it. LOL!!!!!!!! DEATH TO JIHAD

    May 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Iraq Paramedic

    I have said it before & others on this board at various times have said it, if we want to change the way these people think & live, bring them into the 20th, hopefully 21st century, were they will have decent education, medication, civil & human rights we are going to have to occupy Afghanistan for 20+ years & raise a generation of new minds.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  26. Ladislav Nemec, Big Bear, CA

    There is nothing to 'reintegrate'. Taliban wants to re-establish it previous control of the country (most of it, that is). It will do so by 'all means available'. We cannot stop it and Karzai, understandably, is getting ready for that. A very revealing report in the Times described the locals who know EXACTLY who the Taliban are and where they are 'hiding' (among the villagers). They will NOT tell us – we will be gone sooner or later, Taliban will be still there.

    I 'applaud' Karzai game of 'reintegrating' Taliban and Obama should encourage it. We HAVE TO GET OUT of there in a maximum of year (before July 2011). Just like in Vietnam with the phony 'Paris Accords' the North paid absolutely no attention to, Karzai should have his 'accords' with Taliban who may not even kill him after they regain control. Well, he should run at an appropriate time just to be sure. Hopefully not for a life in this country...

    May 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Tejano

    The United States trained the Taliban, and they did a good job. Now they are training us. It is there country, and there land it is time that we talk about what all that has happened. During the War Between the States, we did not kill all the Southers, we embraced them, and they came back. There was much more loss in that war, and there has not been a more personal war since. All of you that say fight, go an enlist now, and see how it feels to be away from home, or might never come home.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  28. MAJ Hall, CGSC student

    At this moment I do not think the Taliban can be reintergrated. As much as I know the Taliban does not care for the ways of the western world and will not cease their efforts until they are completely taken out of power. The Taliban needs to be separated from the Afghanistan populace in order for Afghanistan to move forward. Reintergrating the Taliban will possibly lengthen the process.

    May 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Voice of Reason

    lack of faith has also become a religion, and as you can see from your comments Wowlfer, you guys are just as zealous and fanatic as the Born again Christians and the TB. Why do you think your "belief" that there is no God, and all those who think otherwise, should be "eradicated" any better than the TB who thinks that he will get 70 virgins if he dies killing non believers????

    Don't think that your beliefs are unique and better, unless they really are, and in which, you won't ever have to convince anyone of their greatness. We will all see it and follow it!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  30. wowlfer

    The world will be a better place when scientists figure out how to use gene therapy to eradicate those portions of the general population that proposes god exists. Eradicate those and the world will be a peace. That's about 90% of the population. Good for the environment too with only about 500,000,000 instead of 7,000,000,000 religious zealots of which all are.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      then why did th world go to war to stop the nasiz,s from killing the jews?

      May 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  31. wowlfer

    That is as much true as you could never integrate the Nazi's into Israel. Isn't going to happen. Not in a thousand lifetimes.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  32. wowlfer

    You must be kidding. That would be like putting a square peg into a round hole. A much smaller round hole at that.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Voice of Reason

    I think there a few problems with this whole situation; first, we are assuming that Talibans have tattoos on their foreheads that will help us identify them easily when were paying them to lay their weapons down. As far as my experiences in that country are concerned, we have not been able to isolate TB from the populace, which is the reason why we are failing.

    Second, we are assuming that Karzai, who remember, is known by Afghans as the "Mayor of Kabul" and not the President of Afghanistan, knows how to tell an Afghan and a Talib apart. He doesn't because no body does.

    Third, we are assuming that Karzai wants to bring peace to Afghanistan and send his biggest donors back to their countries and tell them that now he can handle it. Why would he be motivated to end a war that is making him the richest man in Afghanistan and he is making most of him family rich in the process, too? He doesn't want us out.

    Forth, we will never have Mullah Omar come to the table because he gets paid way more by the ISI and Saudis to continue to fight then the US can pay him or give him. We will get lots of foot soldiers to come to our side once month to get paid for laying their weapons and then go to the other side of the border and either donate that money for Islamic causes and hand it to Omar, or they will continue to work for him too.

    Can we honestly think that we can keep track of who is on whose' side??? Please don't suggest one more thing for Karzia's useless government to do. he will fail miserably and the insurgents will only use it as yet another example of how useless Karzai's little government is.

    I can go on for a long time about what else is wrong with this idea that probably came from someone who is totally out of touch with reality in Afghanistan, but you get the idea.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Manmohan Lal

    India will never allow the reintegeration of Taliban terrorists.

    I mean come on. As long as there is violance, the USA and allies will have to stay and as long as they stay in Afghanistan, we have the protection and safety to stay and engage in our own policy of sorrounding Pakistan and achieving our goals which is weakening Pakistan so much that it will be a piece of cake for us to annex Pakistan.

    The dream of Maha bharat (Greater India) is not far away.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • wowlfer

      That is as much true as you could never integrate the Nazi's into Israel. Isn't going to happen. Not in a thousand lifetimes.

      May 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  35. ADW

    Just kill them and stop wasting time trying to bribe religious psyhcos. These people need to be slaugthered like the pigs that they are. Once they realize that they will fail and die a violent death then they'll quit jihad.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Iraq Paramedic

    It was the Mujahadine who we helped against the Russians & when they left & went their own way the Taliban formed & came to life. In Kabul is 90% on the money with his statement but, he is forgetting about all the drug dealers & government corruption.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  37. In Kabul

    This is not a black or white issue. There is a gray middle ground of Taliban that have varying degrees of commitment to Taliban ideals. Those in the middle are reachable. The Afghan Government must reach out to them. Key to success is providing the former Taliban a livelihood and security from attacks from the remaining Taliban.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • wowlfer

      So should the Jews integrate the Nazi's? Never going to happen. You can't integrates ingrates. The Taliban can never be integrated into a society their religious beliefs claim are the 'infidels'. Your dreaming. Actually, worse.

      May 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wyatt

        They wouldn't integrate Hitler, but plenty of the low level soldiers probably would have been willing to reintegrate. Plenty of them probably didn't believe in their cause but were following orders/doing what they had to to stay alive themselves.

        May 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Tejano

    The Taliban used to be our friends, when we were helping them against the Russians. Yes I do think they can be brought back to the table. It is also their country and they live there. If they abide by laws, give them a chance. We can't stay there forever.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • wowlfer

      The Taliban are like pit bulls; bred for hundreds of generations to be killing machines. So the only solution is the final solution: eradication.

      May 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kristian

        You are right. The Taliban and Al-Qaida need to be destroyed. Their ideals also. They want to bully people into their religion. If you do not abide by their laws you die. But they fight like cowards. Why don't the main commanders like Bin Laden and the Taliban leaders kill themselves. They are afraid to. Their fighting ways are sissy like. They can not even stand like men and fight. They are sissies. I am glad the US is killing them. Hopefully torturing them to. Yeah I said it. These girly men would bomb the people sticking up for them. They are not normal humans. They should be treated like the crap they are. Islam is peaceful but these dummies twist it for their own greedy, selfish needs. KILL EM

        May 18, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  39. Daniel-2

    The real question here is; can the Taliban be bribed to fight other Taliban?Both the Americans and the Russians have been successful with the bribery tactic in Iraq and Chechnya respectively.What we need to do is just forget about all this bribery and let the Karzai government and the Taliban come to terms without NATO interference and maybe then can the Afghans find the peace they deserve.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • wowlfer

      Probably not. That country has basically been bred to fight and kill. That's the only thing they have ever know for thousands of years. It's inbred now. Mankind should just destroy them all and eradicate the genes responsible for being a killing machine. Sort of like pit bulls. They were bred to kill and that's their instinct. They can be nice but if they sense fear they can attack without a second of hesitation. The Afghanistans are a lot like that.

      May 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  40. zephyrwinds

    With joblessness being a major problem in this country and we have a bill that includes paying the Taliban not to fight us to the tune of $680 billion , we may have more Americans joining the Taliban to get their fair share. Just a thought.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • wowlfer

      I would be happy to be paid to not hate the Taliban! but not vice versa!

      May 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ricky Hogo

      Since the beginning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has been an economic war. Yes people are dying, but counter-insurgency and raids can only do so much. Long abandoned is the "win the hearts the people" and all the government is trying to do now is win their wallets. Unfortunatly for the administration, they're hurting the wallets of its American citizens, so I do agree with your sacrasm. Economic focus should start being removed from the Afghan and on to the American people.

      May 18, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  41. Achmed the dead terrorist

    Can retards be cured? No.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • wowlfer

      Retardation isn't a disease so of course it can't be cured. But retards can gain intelligence. Intelligence is not simply genetic. It's the work of hard work.

      May 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Achmed the dead terrorist

        Answer is no then.

        May 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ladislav Nemec, Big Bear, CA

      It would be wonderful if Taliban were 'retards'. They are not and their return to power in Afghanistan is a virtual certainty. Al Qaeda, in the meantime, relocated to much more pleasant Pakistan and has, I am pretty sure, to return to this pre-medieval country. The sooner we accept this as an unavoidable fact, the sooner our young people will be spared wasteful death and disfiguration for exaclty nothing, just like in Vietnam.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wyatt

      Their loyalty might be attainable. Many of the lower level members probably are just loyal to their cause because it is their cause, much like an employee is loyal to their company. Those that would switch probably joined because the alternatives were far worse, and the Taliban promised some sort of future and stature. If the 'good guy' Afghan government offered something similar, chances are they might come over. Obviously, this would not work for each and every individual, less as you go up the chain of command, but if you can get a few to switch over, it might be worth it.

      May 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Iraq Paramedic

    Karzai is a two faced lieing, drug dealing, corrupt thug taking orders from his brother Wali ,who is a drug dealer & part of the existing government, & Karzai is being manipulated by an inexperianced, two faced, lieing, muslim socialist, POS president of the USA. A deal with the real Taliban will never work, the true hard core sharia believing, extreme Islamic Taliban will accept the deal, take the jobs & money & government positions & when all is calm & the USA & world powers leave the Taliban will be back in an even stronger position. Most of the politicians in power right now are idiot, weak kneed, liberal, lazy, chickensh*$, POSs. They turn away from GOD & his commandments for greed, power & worldly lust. If they do not pull their collective heads out of their ass' & change they will burn in hell.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • wowlfer

      Your nuts because you believe in god. That's the source of all the world's misery. Religions can't get along. They couldn't in Europe in the 1600's leading tens of millions to flea from persecution and they can't in the Muslim world. Too many differing opinions of what is right and wrong. So they are all wrong. 98% of all wars through through the history of man have all been attributed to religious differences and inability to accept the others religious philosophy. And to set matters straight, there are two races of man: those with 4% Neanderthal genes and those without. So god didn't make man in his own image since there are two races of man!!

      May 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      obviously they are dealing with the afghan taliban for re integration, what about iran, north korea, saudia arabia, uae, somalia and every other country do those taliban take over those goverments too/ or is this a thing reserved strictly for afghan taliban? so otherwise after nine years of wars and multi millions of dead and maimed people, we are giveing it back as it was before we started, very highly intelligent,

      May 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • truthywood

      I wonder that what you Christian talibans are doing in Iraq.

      May 18, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |