How to buy peace… and get the heck out

Garrison Ebie

After too many years of relentless violence and a 70 percent increase in insurgency in 2009 alone, the United States led NATO occupation of Afghanistan is finally coming to its senses and considering that they may as well attempt a truce with the Taliban.

Yes, that Taliban. The one whose only acceptable definition of peace is everyone else surrendering, leaving their own whacked-out brand Islam to control the four corners of the globe.

The rest of the world’s consensual hope for peace led to a conference in London last week where representatives from about 70 countries met. Their goal is to find a new peace scheme that would provide government protection and jobs for Taliban fighters as long as they decide to drop their weapons and side with the rest of the world.

However, any forms of negotiations whatsoever are totally unlikely. The program for peace is being highly encouraged by Afghan president, Hamid Karzi, although he seems to have forgotten that he’s dealing with extremists that simply do not want peace. Period.

But this is not to say the global community cannot at least try. America has been involved for more than eight years now while soldiers from several other countries have put in a fair effort in trying to form and stabilize a new, quasi-legitimate government in Afghanistan.

For some more background though, the entire situation is more complicated than any military intervention before. To say that we have been at war with Afghanistan is a common misconception. Combat forces are mostly fighting with disgruntled opium farmers who are paid off by the Taliban to throw bombs and shoot at anything with a uniform. The enemy has never been organized and has never been trained. In fact, an enemy is hardly even identifiable, which is why eight years of combat have ensued with limited progress and no end in sight.

Thankfully, the good people at NATO who call the shots have finally realized this inevitable fate, come to terms with it and will soon reluctantly unveil the one weapon that is believed to solve any problem: the checkbook.

Approximately $1.3 billion was included in the US military funding bill passed in October, designed to support the re-integration of Afghan society. According to multiple sources, the sum, along with the surge of 30,000 American troops, will be used to persuade moderate insurgents that they are better off not fighting on the side of the Taliban. In short: it’s a bribe.

It can be argued that bribes are entirely un-American, and while this may not be justifiable, the tactic has already worked at least once during the surge in Iraq a few years ago, which has brought temporary peace to the region.

Thinking short term, this not a terrible idea. Most of the paid insurgents have little to no serious connection with the remaining leaders of the Taliban. They are simply fighting because poverty and tribal concerns bring them into it. The new solution to integrate a more stable society would be to simply pay the pawns more than the Taliban can under the assumption that the extra cash would bring enough peace and progress to the region for the foreign occupants to withdraw without being noticed.

Yes, this money being spent does technically belong to us in the form of what we pay in taxes, but we’re talking about a plan that costs only $1.3 billion. In military terms, that’s about the cost of three helicopters and 12 hours of combat.

Keep in mind this is simply a temporary solution that will allow Western soldiers to slip out under the veil that peace has been restored. Hamid Karzi’s government, once led to its own, is too weak and will probably collapse within 10 years with religious whackos again reigning terror over the land.

The Taliban’s idea of control is one that is impossible to either negotiate with or eliminate. Given enough time, their ideology will collapse in on itself, but until then, it’s best to get away while we still can, even with our tail between our legs.

Garrison Ebie is a senior

electronic media major and

columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].