After giving up on winning victory in Afghanistan by military means, the international community is resorting to the centuries-old method of buying its way out.
In London this week, Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, will launch a British and American-backed plan for “reintegration” of the Taliban and call for international funding to offer jobs and bribes to bring insurgents in from the cold.
The conference, which starts on Thursday, will be the first big international gathering on Afghanistan since President Barack Obama announced his military strategy last month, including a surge of 30,000 American troops.
The aim was to accompany the surge with a new political strategy and ways for the Afghans to provide their own security by setting up local militias, which could include former Taliban. [continued…]