The Washington Post reports: Faridoon Hanafi says he probably killed American soldiers as a Taliban commander in eastern Afghanistan from 2009 through 2014. And he’s certainly killed some Afghan troops.
But since then, Hanafi has joined a rare demographic here: reformed, de-radicalized Islamist militants.
After he handed over his assault rifles and grenade launchers to intelligence agents, Hanafi settled into a safe house and started collecting $200 a month. In return for those payments, funded with foreign aid, Hanafi worked with local officials in Nangahar province to try to lure other militants away from the fight.
Now, the money is drying up, and a central goal of the U.S.-led effort to rebuild Afghanistan — that Islamist militants can be rehabilitated or paid to reintegrate into the law-abiding public — is at a crossroads as the war drags into its 15th year.
“If the government stops paying, these people will find another way to get money, and negotiations will fail,” Hanafi said in an interview. [Continue reading…]