On air: Should the Taliban be paid to quit?


When Barack Obama signs a new defence bill, the US military in Afghanistan will be allowed to pay Taliban fighters who renounce violence. It’s a tactic that’s been used in Iraq, and some would like to see it introduced in Pakistan. It raises several interesting questions…

– Does it matter that money meant to defeat the Taliban, will go straight into its fighters pockets? If you’re American how does the prospect of your tax dollars going to a man who’s been trying to kill your servicemen and women seem to you?

– Do you worry that they’ll take the cash and keep on fighting?

– Do the means matter? Or if you support US and NATO action, is the only important thing that the Taliban is defeated?

– And whichever side you sympathise with, do you think this tactic can undermine the loyalty of Taliban fighters? Does every man have a price?

Have the Italians already been doing this?

A former British General makes the case.

111 Responses to “On air: Should the Taliban be paid to quit?”

  1. 1 Al Mathes
    October 28, 2009 at 14:14

    This is geting out of control. First we sacrifice young lives to eliminate the taliban, now they’re thinking of paying them to stop. AS IF they are going to be honest. Oh yeah….sure…give me the money and I’ll stop setting bombs…oh by the way, we have a bridge that’s going real cheap too. Comes with some prime opium.
    It’s disgusting to me to hear all the people screaming to get out of Afghanistan now, they should of been screaming that before we went in then. Not after we lose so many young lives to eliminate these crazed radicals, and for what? Nothing if we leave or try to pacifiy them with money. Get the job done! Eliminate them once and for all especially now that Paksitan has finally come to bat. If civilian lives are lost, as tragic as that might be, that IS the cost of war. Let us NOT forget the thousands of innocent lives that died on 9/11 lest we have another.

  2. 2 Roy, Washington DC
    October 28, 2009 at 14:24

    Paying the enemy to put down their weapons? How naïve are we?

  3. October 28, 2009 at 14:26

    I don’t think any money inducement will work on a band of fighters who have for all practical purposes accep[ted that the door to heaven is through ‘suicide bombing’.If this is their concept of ‘value of life’,money will not work.Even if it works for some , it will recycled for more/better arms to enable them to re-work their long term strategy to defeat the west.

  4. 5 Tony from Singapura
    October 28, 2009 at 14:32

    Do you worry that they’ll take the cash and keep on fighting?

    I would – therefor so would they.

  5. 6 Moonki ban
    October 28, 2009 at 14:45

    @ Al Mathes “Eliminate them once and for all especially now that Paksitan has finally come to bat. If civilian lives are lost, as tragic as that might be, that IS the cost of war. Let us NOT forget the thousands of innocent lives that died on 9/11 lest we have another.”

    .. as long as those civilians aren’t American, eh Al?

    And also, The US has been warned that its use of drones to target suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan may violate international law and the US should explain the legal basis for attacking individuals with the remote-controlled aircraft.

    • 7 nora
      October 28, 2009 at 17:50

      The drones trouble me, both for the victims on the ground and my country for engaging in this activity. I can only think that these drones are an excellent recruiting mechanism for militants on the ground, and prolong and expand war.

      As to paying the Talibani to quit: the practical matter of how to make a living and not get killed by your new ex-friends when you quit a brotherhood seems quite real and would require cash.

  6. 8 Helen Richmond
    October 28, 2009 at 14:52

    I’ve been looking for guests who support the idea of paying the Taliban to quit and found this:


    Time magazine’s, Mark Thompson, who is their national security correspondent, supports paying the Taliban saying that they maybe willing to lay down their arms in exchange for $20 a day – a relative bargin compared to the cost of fighting the insurgent group.

  7. 9 Fareedoone
    October 28, 2009 at 14:57

    Paying a bunch of ruthless murders is a sane that cannot be redeemed by any apologies and pleas of forgiveness if the “Operation” goes stray
    Do you think that paying the Taliban will work? I am in Afghanistan and I can openly tell you that it won’t. How much Tax Money from the US-People will the US-army pay the Taliban to switch side? One month, two, three, four, a year, two but then what? Unless the roots of this evil are diminished nothing will work. Once the money is stopped they will keep coming. And what is the guarantee that more who are not yet in the fight will join? The percentage of people who are living below the poverty line is very high than the Taliban. As reported the number of soldiers compare to the Taliban is 12-1 but the number of poor and poverty stricken people are far greater then the Taliban.
    Ok let’s suppose it’s a strategic decision by the Chain of Command. But how about the mothers, sons, daughters, wives who have lost their beloved in the battle against the evil? How will the US-Government console them? How will they be told that will the bunch of ruthless murders that killed your boy is being paid from your tax of the hard earned money?
    The best mean to this dead end is counter propaganda. Let’s talk of the daring deeds of both the International Troops and Afghan Soldiers. Let’s talk about how the country has been saved from the hands of these Stone Age mentalities and marched towards progress and prosperity. Let’s talk of the good against the bad. Spend the money on this and we will bear fruitful results

    • 10 Maxine
      October 29, 2009 at 03:10

      I agree with Fareedoone 100%. How can anyone trust these murderous liars for one second. The counter propaganda is an excellent tool – lets give these barbaric, mental retards some truths – they belong in the stone-age. They know nothing about being civilized. War and killing is their way of life, and putting down women is a custom they love. Come on BBC – come strong on the side of justice and help put these cruel people into shame. If there is a hell then these evil people certainly qualify for a place there – no Paradise for them, not even one woman to sooth their manly pride.

    • 11 Saut
      October 29, 2009 at 11:19

      @ Fareedoone, October 28, 2009 at 14:57

      “about the mothers, sons, daughters, wives who have lost their beloved in the battle against the evil? How will the US-Government console them?”

      Are we sure about this? Earlier Pres. Bush, now Pres. Obama had spend billions to save bankers’ lifestyles. This is their priority, not the lives of their soldiers. Aren’t we deluding ourselves in expecting consolation when the evidence ponts elsewhere.

  8. 12 Kate M.
    October 28, 2009 at 14:58

    While money may lure some Taliban in the beginning I don’t think it is a long term solution. It seems to me poverty can contribute to people becoming involved with organizations like the Taliban. Once the money we would give them is gone they still need food and protection. Why would they not go back? Or as others have pointed out, take the money and still fight? How is something like this monitored?

  9. 13 James Turner
    October 28, 2009 at 14:59

    If they can be bought? Pay them to stay and fight for their own country, and we can bring our troops home!

  10. 14 Tim Dean
    October 28, 2009 at 15:02

    Sure, at present they only make $10-a-day from the Taliban, so by giving them twice as much we buy them dinner and after’s.

    Other then those init for Pastun nationality – its a winner!

  11. October 28, 2009 at 15:08

    Paying the Taleban to lay down their arms is another hare-brained idea coming from people who do not understand what they are up against or why Taleban are fighting. The Taleban are fighting to oust the Americans with their NATO allies from Afghanistan. People who consider their reward is in heaven cannot be bought with any material offers on earth. Now the Taleban is turning its attention to Pakistan, which has bought into the American war in the region. The only way to save Pakistan and Afghanistan from ultimate catastrophe is for the Americans and their allies to pull out and go home. Failing this, Pakistan’s days are numbered.

    I would urge the Americans to stop playing silly games with their money, which has no value for the Taleban.

  12. 16 Roberto
    October 28, 2009 at 15:08

    RE “” If you’re American how does the prospect of your tax dollars going to a man who’s been trying to kill your servicemen and women seem to you? “”

    ———- Average American who votes is too dumb to realize we already pay most everyone in Afghanistan whether or not they are trying to kill our servicemen anyway.

    The truth is that the true Taliban don’t need the chump change America hands out. They run a lucrative drug cartel that floods the world with heroin and it’s derivative products.

  13. 17 Dennis Junior
    October 28, 2009 at 15:09


    *Do you worry that they’ll take the cash and keep on fighting?
    That worry me very much…

    *If you’re American how does the prospect of your tax dollars going to a man who’s been trying to kill your servicemen and women seem to you? Upsets me and thinks it is a not a good idea in theory; because of poor oversight!

    =Dennis Junior=

  14. 18 Roseann in Houston
    October 28, 2009 at 15:19

    The argument for doing this seems to be that it worked in Iraq so it should work in Afghanistan…but the two situations are completely different. In Afghanistan, the US started training and arming the Taliban DECADES ago to fight off the Soviet Union. (The US wanted to stop the spread of communism.) The Taliban took our money and our weapons and gave shelter and support to Al Qeada. In Pakistan the Taliban said they would lay down their arms if they could put Sharia law in the Swat Valley – and when they got the Swat Valley they took their weapons and marched towards the capital. Maybe some of the poor farmers, the little guys, the ones who are joining the Taliban because there is basically a choice between starving or joining, maybe those guys will honestly accept the money and lay down their arms. But how long before the organizers, the real master-minds, the ones who lie to their young countrymen to convince them to commit suicide – how long before they start making the rounds and demanding the pay-off money from the farmers and putting guns back in their hands?

  15. 20 patti in cape coral
    October 28, 2009 at 15:22

    “Do you worry that they’ll take the cash and keep on fighting?”

    Yes, I do.

  16. 21 Mike in Seattle
    October 28, 2009 at 15:22

    Everyone here is forgetting that this is the reason the “surge” worked in Iraq. I don’t care how distasteful it is, it’s cheaper in real terms, it saves lives and it gives a real chance for the building of infrastructure and general stability.

    Unless someone has a better idea, since what we’re doing right now has been so successful…

  17. 22 Mike in Seattle
    October 28, 2009 at 15:23

    Additionally, the first world should buy up the poppy crop, turn it into medicine or simply destroy it and that would get rid of a significant funding source of the Taliban.

  18. 23 steve
    October 28, 2009 at 15:41

    This is the stupidest idea of all time. Money means nothing to religious fundamentalist, except what the money can buy, which would be more weapons to fight with. Who is the idiot who thought this one up?

  19. 24 Anthony
    October 28, 2009 at 15:49

    Didn’t we (the U.S.) already try stuff like this in the Middle East multiple times? In the end, is just ends up coming back to haunt us. The ONLY way to stop the violence is to change their ideals (which will never happen), or kill them.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  20. 25 Dennis Junior
    October 28, 2009 at 15:52

    >>- Do the means matter? …Not really in theory!

    <<Or if you support US and NATO action, is the only important thing that the Taliban is defeated? ..Hope that the idea of paying the Taliban not to fight will work …

    =Dennis Junior=

  21. October 28, 2009 at 15:57

    How devious can we get! Whilst trying to stop bribary and corruption in Africa,we wish to encourage it in Afghanistan. If America thinks that 20$ will make a significant difference,then perhaps The President should change his advisors.

  22. 27 Jessica in NYC
    October 28, 2009 at 15:59

    I saw your tweet about this and could not believe what I read. I was certain is was the media making some inflammatory remark twisting something someone in President Obama’s staff said. That’s now naive I was at the prospect of this having any truth.

    As a woman’s rights advocate and human rights activist I find it deplorable that my President would pay Taliban to put down their weapons. Furthermore it’s unforgivable that we would “forgive” and not hold Taliban accountable for their heinous acts against women and humanity after paying them. I’m very unhappy about this proposal.

  23. 28 Gary Paudler
    October 28, 2009 at 16:00

    I’ll renounce violence for $15.00 per day. It looks like our soldiers are working hard under very difficult circumstances, and I don’t have any philosophical objection to the scheme, but it sure doesn’t look like there’s any way to know who was violent and should be paid or how long, if at all, someone stays non-violent. It costs $400 to put a gallon of fuel into a US Army truck; what will all those twenties really cost? How will it be administrated and what accountability will be enforced? Isn’t reconstruction the traditional way to win-over former combatants? Winter’s coming, how about shelter, food, toilets and hot showers? Build a nice little mosque outside each military base, invite everybody in for prayer and soup, let a moderate imam preach non-violence and education.

  24. 29 T
    October 28, 2009 at 16:01

    If the U.S. will pay the Taliban to not fight, why not also hire the unemployed back home? Obama is desperate to not be known as the weak President who lost ANOTHER war. And the public is so desperate to believe that he’s perfect that they’ll let him get away with anything.

  25. 30 Methusalem
    October 28, 2009 at 16:05

    @David Price

    Extermely devious! Yesterday, we were talking about how to deny our solidarity mthose peacefull and hungry Africans, yet, we hear and see billions of Dollars flooding the group of people who takes the West in hostage”

  26. 31 Nigel
    October 28, 2009 at 16:16

    If it does not address the fundamental problem and treats the symptom only then it will not work. Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the plight of the Palestinians need to be addressed if this war, payment to Taliban or not, is to have an end. If not prepare for another 100 year war, this time a worldwide guerilla war.

  27. October 28, 2009 at 16:18

    Dumb idea. It amounts to bribery. Moreover, as a taxpayer, I don’t see how the U.S. government has the constitutional authority to spend my money in this way. I don’t recall hearing President Obama talking about this on the campaign trail, essentially bribing the enemy to lay down their arms. And I certainly don’t recall George W. Bush boasting about doing the same in Iraq.

  28. October 28, 2009 at 16:22

    PErhaps all the commentators who don’t want to try to pay Taliban fighters to “lay down their weapons” to offer up their kids and grandkids to go voer and fight.

    Poverty is a problem throughout Afghanistan and many poor kids sign up with the Taliban to get money to feed their families. They are not zealots but simple farmers and peasants.

    As for how could we pay the enemy to stop fighting and not “hold Taliban accountable for their heinous acts against women and humanity.”

    Well, remember that after every war, the US Civil War, WWII, Vietnam for example, most foot soldiers simply go home. A few of the worse generals and heads of state are sometimes–but not always–brought to account,.

    It is how the real world works. We may not like it but it is what always happens.

    Paying the individual Taliban to leave the battlefield is a far better use of dollars than sending corrupt leaders millions.

  29. 34 Tom K in Mpls
    October 28, 2009 at 16:23

    We have seen what the Taliban do when you make a deal in Swat and in Iraq. This isn’t very bright. But it is a sellable idea for Obama. He can convince people it will work and save lives, he will be a hero to many. Most people are gullible enough to go for it. They won’t even remember this six months later when the next wave of violence comes.

  30. October 28, 2009 at 16:23

    Bravo U.S. ~ not only are we doing what works, but we are also being open about what we are doing. The change is like a breath of fresh air.
    The name of the game is “divide and conquer”… oldest trick in the book and still one of the most effective. For those who participate with the Taliban out of necessity, monthly stipends to let them support their families by plowing instead of pulling a trigger is truly the best bang for the buck. For those who participate with the Taliban thanks to gang mentality (riled up folks who are emotional and do what the guy next to him is doing), seeing their numbers dwindle a bit will take some of the emotion out of the gang and, perhaps, open them to exchange a promise-against-violence for a stipend. Those who have vested everything they have to establish and expand their religious dictators can’t be bought and can’t be disillusioned… these are the guys that must be killed. It will be a lot easier to get to them, if the poor and the emotional are no longer standing between them and our bullets. War isn’t cut and dried, nor is it ethical… you do what you gotta do to win, and win as quickly as possible, and inflict as few scars as possible on all sides. After all, once the war is ended, we still have to make peace.

  31. 36 gary
    October 28, 2009 at 16:28

    The Taliban deals in opium, promulgates, and then breaks its own rigid code, and murders innocent people. It shouldn’t take much mental acuity to imagine they also may be liars.

  32. 37 Camlus
    October 28, 2009 at 16:29

    It’s simply absurd. Terrorists anywhere in the world must be fought at all costs. I fear that paying such groups is unacceptable, unethical, and has the potential to backfire. Camlus. Kisumu. Kenya

    October 28, 2009 at 16:39

    I would say no and we should bomb them into the Stone Age, but the country is already pre Stone Age!

    I think most of the War lords and Drug barons are getting paid for not taking sides right now, we largely ignore there drug manufacturing and export of heroine giving them more income and power over the people.

    We have to accept the fact there is only worse case scenarios in this place, there is no happy ending to this mess.

  34. October 28, 2009 at 16:55

    As drug dealers, the Taliban have enough money to recruit more fighters. For the US to pay current Taliban fighters to quit won’t solve the problem. The whole of Afghanistan still needs more money for development projects. Currently money is being wasted in military operations which is matched by Taliban accumulation of wealth from the sale of drugs.

    What is needed for Afghanistan is a national and international strategy for it to rebuild. As long as it can’t be a democratic society free of corruption, both corrupt politicians and Taliban fighters will continue to co-exist as paradoxically each helps the other to continue existing while it is trying to exterminate the other.

    And who knows if the money got by the fighters will be used by them just as a means to get a rest from fighting till they get enough strength to get back to the war zone. Everything is possible in a country known to have been almost unique in defeating invaders despite their might. The Afghans must have a knack for fighting without which they can’t live and they must be happy to have foreign forces to fight with them as a pastime.

  35. 40 Kathy in Orange County, California
    October 28, 2009 at 17:07

    I can’t possibly be the only person – who took all of 2 seconds – to realize this is feeding fuel to the fire! This has FAILURE written all over it, not to mention death and tragedy.

  36. 41 Jens
    October 28, 2009 at 17:18

    i am so glad to see that all the homless guys in Baltimore i drive through daily are getting a 20 dollar check. i’d rather see my tax money go the our military and it’s fighting capabilities that these barbariens.

  37. 42 Tom D Ford
    October 28, 2009 at 17:26

    @ Fareedoone
    October 28, 2009 at 14:57

    “The percentage of people who are living below the poverty line is very high than the Taliban. As reported the number of soldiers compare to the Taliban is 12-1 but the number of poor and poverty stricken people are far greater then the Taliban.”

    I wonder if it would work to create a draftee Army of the poor and poverty stricken people shaped somewhat like the National Guard that each US State maintains. That would solve two problems, one, building a widely diversified military which forces members of all of the different tribes and factions to work together and get along to take back control of their nation and, two, pay the poor to do some jobs of value to the nation.

    I would include women in that draft and and at the end of their term of service I would train all of the draftees in how to do police work so that they could go back to their villages and be part of the police force and help maintain peace. Police women could help protect girls schools and women in general from abuse.

    And I suspect that an Army of lawyers would be very helpful in rooting out corruption and cleaning up the politics.

  38. 43 Tom D Ford
    October 28, 2009 at 17:31

    What happens when the fighting is over and the pay stops? What will those guys do for money? Will they just go to the next country in trouble and fight until they can get on the payroll again?

  39. 45 Ray in Nairobi
    October 28, 2009 at 17:34

    This has flawed logic written all over it. The Taliban are a fascist, chauvinistic group and paying them simply adds to their resources. Would we ever agree to paying the LRA as well? This is a no no as far as i’m concerned.

  40. 46 Bert
    October 28, 2009 at 17:41

    Wow. It is so amazing how willing our government is to be taken for a bunch of fools. Religious fanatics will be happy to pick up the cash we hand out, and go on with their divinely inspired activities. So-called.

    No wonder the rest of the world always extends their hat to the US, expecting a handout.

    Wait, we even do this at home! There’s some program or other in Wash DC public schools to hand out money to kids for getting decent grades! What a strange mentality, that you have to bribe perople to behave like human beings.

  41. 47 Barrie muntaga
    October 28, 2009 at 17:50

    I think paying this killers will fuel another group to pick up arms.
    So my sugestion is that the world should fight extrimist at all level an elimenate tham.

    Barrie Liberia

  42. 48 Mike in Seattle
    October 28, 2009 at 18:02

    Look, if you guys don’t like the idea of paying them to go away while a more stable society is built up (which worked well for Italy), then what would you do instead? Lets hear those ideas, since what is going on now isn’t working at all.

  43. 49 John in Salem
    October 28, 2009 at 18:06

    In theory it would work, but so long as the average recruit remains economically and politically disenfranchised it would be temporary at best.

  44. 50 Shannon in Ohio
    October 28, 2009 at 18:07

    What do those who favor payouts to the Taliban have to say to Afgahn women? So much for the promise of schools and full citizenship…

  45. 51 Melissa
    October 28, 2009 at 18:08

    Yeah give them money so they can buy better weapons and such. Not the brightest idea. Paying people off doesn’t work. They either use the money to hurt you more or will continue to want more and more money. This is their religious crusade I do not think offering them money to denounce their religious belief will work, they’re not Christian for pete’s sake!

  46. 52 D from Indiana
    October 28, 2009 at 18:10

    Isn’t paying the Taliban not to fight the same as making deals with Terrorists?

  47. 53 Steve Hall
    October 28, 2009 at 18:12

    As an American tax payer, I am disturbed by the idea that we should pay people not to conduct what I see as criminal activities. The world should work together to bring criminals to justice, not to reward them.

  48. 54 margaret
    October 28, 2009 at 18:14

    Agree with everyone who thinks this won’t work. IF they actually take the money, they will continue to fight. Much better to pay regular Afghanis, such as subsidize farmers to not grow poppies, Aghani soldiers, Afghani widows and orphans, pay for education including literacy for women and girls and college tuitions, pay Afghanis to build infrastruture, make reparations to ALL the civilians who’ve been adversely impacted over the last 8 years–etc etc etc.

    Margaret Tacoma, WA

  49. 55 Jens
    October 28, 2009 at 18:21

    you cannot compare italy to afganistan

  50. 56 Elina
    October 28, 2009 at 18:22

    “Should the Taliban be paid to quit?”

    I don’t think this would be a very effective response in the long run. If I’ve understood correct, Taliban’s main goal is to create a pure Islamist state, and I don’t believe they would give up their dream for money. Perhaps some fighters would, but not many.

  51. 57 Mike in Seattle
    October 28, 2009 at 18:31

    The thing many here are missing is that infrastructure cannot be build until the constant skirmishes stop. You guys are also missing the fact that money is not a zero sum game – we can pay soldiers not to fight which then means money spent on schools/roads/infrastructure will be more useful because they can be built and used in a more peaceful setting.

    Look, the foot soldiers have families to feed. They aren’t religious radicals, they’re hungry. If we can pay them, that’s where the zero sum game comes into play. We gain one, they lose one.

    Frankly, what’s $20 when it could mean one less flag draped coffin arriving back here in the United States? Can’t we swallow our indignation and collective dislike for Obama and try it out? We spend $65,000,000,000 (BILLION!) a year in this country, what’s a few thousand to try something new?

    If it doesn’t work, it’s a drop in the bucket. If it does we gain a whole lot of ground.

  52. 58 Mike in Seattle
    October 28, 2009 at 18:31

    @ Jens

    I was comparing the actions of the Italian army. They tried something similar to this, and it worked. Sorry for not being more clear.

    October 28, 2009 at 18:34

    Yes, the Talibans might see it as a slap on the face and I am not sure they value the handouts given the fact that they have their own. Having said that what positive thing this plan might usher in is a dialogue between two warring sides where you win and lose some. That has never happened in this conflicts and as funny as this plan might look, there might be something in it. These wars are not costing Americans alone. They are costing the whole world in general. Let’s agree on one fact. Afghanistan will never be what it was before the war. The sticking point I seem to see in this quagmire is a stalemate borne of mistrust and irrational behaviour. The other thing is that both sides of the divide do not want a humiliating defeat.
    I have already noted that the west has taken the first initiative in that direction given that no matter the cost, they would not stand for sham elections.

  54. 60 Dirk
    October 28, 2009 at 18:35

    Pay them not to fight? We need the money for OUR schools and infrastructure.

    Why don’t we just use the aging stock pile of chemical weapons we have to rid the world of the taliban?

  55. 61 bob
    October 28, 2009 at 18:38

    It has been reported that the United States used this technique very effectivley when initially entering Afganistan after 9/11. Was it a good Idea? In the long run the probababilty will always be that it will not have a lasting effect. However, it can be effective and has worked in other areas of the world ie: Egypt. Is the chance worth taking? Obviously , yes.

  56. 62 N.J.
    October 28, 2009 at 18:38

    Absolutely. The idea of paying off your enemies has a long and well recorded history. The Byzantine Empire was able to survive a thousand years longer than Rome did because they paid off the Goths, the Huns, the Slavs and countless groups that tried to attack their territory, The reasons? Paying them off was considerably less expensive than fighting and there is a downside to fighting. You could lose, and your empire be over run.

  57. 63 Andrew
    October 28, 2009 at 18:40

    Such a typical U.S. response…throw money at it. What happens when the money dries up and we stop paying them. If they do take the money when there is no more money coming in they will go back to whatever they were doing before. If it got them money before then it might work again.

  58. 64 Franziska in Berlin
    October 28, 2009 at 18:45

    Isn’t this exactly what we talked about yesterday when discussing Africa’s problems? Sending money to the Taliban is like sending food to drought victims. It doesn’t fix the root of the problem. It’s a temporary fix.

  59. 65 Elias
    October 28, 2009 at 18:48

    “You can take a horse to water but you cannot bribe or force it to drink”.
    When dealing with a people one has to consider as to how good is their word from past experience with the afgahanies, it is my opinion their promises is not good enough, to bribe them is to admit they are winning. If however the leaders of the insurgents were brought together and an agreement was reached with them signing and swearing on the koran that they would end their insurgencies, then only perhaps it may work. After which they may very well continue the production of cocaine and like drugs, for money is money how then wiil the supply of these drugs be curtailed and stopped. They would not on any account stop producing money making drugs which find the way overseas.

  60. 66 Boadu Kwabena
    October 28, 2009 at 18:48

    I believe that this would be a serious threat to world peace; I don’t see how the militants in places like Somalia or Columbia would lay down thier arms after this. On the contrary I believe such militants would be motivated to fight the more and put up better resistance to the established authority afterall one day billions would flow into their coffers from Washington. it is an idea that shouldn’t even be thought of.
    Again, for me I believe it confirms that America and NATO have failed miserably in Afganistan, after 8years if the solution is to give billions to Talibans to lay down arms then the ISAF coalition should be ashamed.

  61. 67 steve
    October 28, 2009 at 18:51

    Well they paid the criminal classes, the bankers, and they did what they wanted with the cash without telling what they did with it, so why not the Taliban?
    Seems the russians are unwittingly paying the taliban via the drug problem in russia also. Where is that produced? Well the areas controlled by the US and British troops.Nothing is as it seems!

  62. 68 Dirk
    October 28, 2009 at 18:57

    So, if someone starts a war with the US, we’ll pay them not to fight? War for profit…. sounds like it could be a new way to make money.

  63. 69 Jasmine, Singapore
    October 28, 2009 at 19:01

    This seems to be incredibly naive and idealistic. When did any war get solved by money? Money is usually the source of contention, not the solution.

    On the other hand, exploring solutions that are unconventional hold possibilities — we often assume terrorism stems from poverty and injustice. Perhaps cash handouts may ameliorate some of those sentiments.

  64. 70 Ms. Hill
    October 28, 2009 at 19:03

    Absolutely ridiculous..why should be stoop to that level? What about our unemployed angry young men? No way. I will not support this. The military intelligence has been wrong in the past and they are wrong about this as well…My son, just out of high school can’t get a student loan or any kind of grant to continue his education and we are a family in need. He was told to join the military. I can’t support that, why should we send our son’s over there to get blown up, come home dead or seriously injured and not be taken care of by the government to paid the enemy to quit fighting and then they did not? How about quit fighting FIRST and then we will help you? No way. I can’t accept this. it wasn’t that long ago that they this program had person’s on that said they got money for being security or what ever then they abonded their posts, and came back when they wanted more money..Absolutely ridiculous! WE don’t alllow our unemployed persons to collect money for nothing why are we even condisering this? You intelligent people can se where I am going with this. I am so mad, I can’t even gather my thoughts to make any sense. Mad as HELL!

  65. 71 Alan in Arizona
    October 28, 2009 at 19:08

    If it comes to giving them money! Help support their farming or some type of industrial production that would benefit their families and their country in the long run!

  66. 72 viola
    October 28, 2009 at 19:09

    It’s a tactic worth trying that’s cheaper than making bombs or paying for even one suit of combat clothes for a soldier. Would calling it a bribe be more acceptable? Not all the taliban recruits are crazy zealots when they join up, though many are. It would be nice if the money could be targeted only to the non-zealots.

    If the problem of militants in Afghanistan is caused by too many young, impressionable, testosterone-driven men with nothing else to do because the country is and has been so dysfunctional for so long, start with the bribes and then proceed to the functional country to dealing with such young men in a more positive manner than handing them a gun and preaching to them.

  67. 73 Tom K in Mpls
    October 28, 2009 at 19:12

    Another thing, we have been giving to Africa for over 40 years. What have we gained? Why would Afghanistan be any different?

  68. 74 Jasmine, Singapore
    October 28, 2009 at 19:15

    How long can we even pay the Taliban? What kind of peace is it if it is one that is subject to change at any time we decide to stop paying? If payments become a blackmail opportunity for the Taliban, then it is meaningless because it only delays the confrontation rather than solve the problem.

  69. 75 Robyn, Lexington KY
    October 28, 2009 at 19:19

    I cannot see believe this is actually on the table. They will just take the money and keep on fighting. We have enough money woes as it is in the states.

  70. 76 Tom K in Mpls
    October 28, 2009 at 19:19

    Yet another thought. What about developing the legitimate local economy? Do you realize the harm all this unearned cash will do to the local economy? The average local citizen will not be able to afford to buy anything! They will need to join the Taliban to get bread money.

  71. 77 Jasmine, Singapore
    October 28, 2009 at 19:25

    Will more people join the Taliban to get the handouts?

  72. October 28, 2009 at 19:28

    That’s just typically the western appraoch to solving alll problems: throw money their way/ pay them and we will get compliance. We are sooooo wrong. These people arent fighting a frivilour war: they offer themselves for a real cause, one which we in the west can never understand. Honour, pride, loyalty and justice are just a few words that come to mind as reasons these men offer temselves…

  73. 79 Chad Edward
    October 28, 2009 at 19:35

    I appreciate the nations who’ve committed troops to Afghanistan and the families around the world who’ve lost loved ones in that war. But, here’s another strategy for Afghanistan perhaps World Have Your Say might discuss. How about NATO countries actually meet their obligations and provide significant assistance to US troops to end this war quickly?

    • 80 Crispo, Uganda
      October 28, 2009 at 20:32

      Edward, that’s a good idea, however, how exactly is this war ever going to be finished early enough? History has shown us that, Afghanistan is a complex war and situation. Do you have any ideas up your sleeves as to how exactly this could be done?

  74. 81 Robert
    October 28, 2009 at 19:39

    The concern is that the Taliban may well take the money and not live up to the bargain. Remember the deal they struck with the Pakistani government, renouncing terrorism in return for applying Shariah law in one region. The people of that region were sacrificed in the name of peace – but the Taliban never renounced terrorism in the region !

  75. October 28, 2009 at 19:51

    We should learn from history. The British started a campaign for Afghanistan in early 1839 and continued to later pay a yearly tribute to the rulers to maintain peace. However, the North West Frontier remained a trouble spot till 1940’s a hundred years later.
    Paying (with US Tax money) the war lords for not fighting is not the answer for the British so why will it work for us?
    The tax money will better to use at home stateside for better health care for the poor millions who slave to earn a decent wage and maintain a household.

  76. 83 viola
    October 28, 2009 at 19:56

    Payments would not stop the hard-core taliban extremists. Nobody expects them to. They might–just might–lead to enough stability that the country could then with assistance try out some longer term strategies to further isolate and de-fang the taliban.

  77. 84 Mohamed
    October 28, 2009 at 19:57

    100%, it will not works. The Talibans are hardheaded ignorant thugs who believe only on their views. First, it’s not sure that they’ll accept to be bribed. Second, even if they accept, in my opinion, they will just take the money and start again the insurgency.
    The US want to copy-paste the same strategy as in Irak. The context is completly different. The Iraky insurgents fight mainly for survival; whereas the Taliban have an ideology and want to establish a religious state. Moreover, the Irak issue is not yet solved. When they stop paying the insurgents, they could start again the conflict.

  78. 85 Crispo, Uganda
    October 28, 2009 at 20:24

    Whatever Obama and the others might think, i don’t really see it going anywhere. Whether or not the Taliban are paid by the US, they won’t lay down their weapons any bit.

    I wonder if any Americans would be willing to pay taxes for paying the Taliban?

  79. 86 Crispo, Uganda
    October 28, 2009 at 20:43

    Viola, much as you may seem to have a point, but have you considered the long term effects of such a policy? Do you want Afghanistan to be lost? If these warlords add corruption to their ‘jobs’ then the world won’t be safe. At a certain point X, America, if its still a super power by then, will definately return to stop the corruption. May be you didn’t look at it that way.

  80. 87 Tawheed
    October 28, 2009 at 21:02

    Talibans are not fighting for money. Even if some of them accept 20$,other talibans will kill them. They are controlling 80% of the country. Taliban are in full controll of two provinces very near to kabul i;e Lowgar,Ghazni. Tic Tock we are losing honey. Taliban demand’s in pakistan was Shariah, But there were foreign hands India traditional rival,Russia because of its defeat in Afghanistan, Israel because pakistan still to recognised it as a state. But here in Afghanistan the situation is different. If you observe the Afghan Talibans are not fighting with Pakistan army. But Pakistani Taliban are fighting without any support from Afghan taliban.

  81. 88 Thomas Murray
    October 28, 2009 at 21:13

    This ain’t gonna work.

    The Taliban is composes of far too many factions. Negotiating with them would be like picking up cigarette ash with your fingers, or consuming water with chop sticks.

    Their civilization’s worst nightmare. They won’t stop attacking us till we drop to our knees and submit to Allah. But the alternative to this is even more unspeakable.

    Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  82. 89 Kevin PE
    October 28, 2009 at 21:17

    Found in documents recently captured by US forces in Afghanistan….
    “Make $$$ working from home. Perfect 2nd income. Previous fighting experience needed. Telephone US/Taliban 5553465 anytime.”
    Seriously, I kind of, sort of, get what they are trying to do, but in that environment the logistics of such a scheme will be more of a minefield than the war itself. “Ok, from next week on there’ll be no further payments…” Boom, bang, rat ta ta tat, back to square one.

  83. 90 paul8222
    October 28, 2009 at 22:03

    Buying anyone off is a short term solution, perhaps useful whilst one runs elections but never a successful exit strategy. Bluntly that is what now needs thinking about in Afghanistan.

    I think Gen. Lamb’s view that hill tribesmen fired up on jihad are mercenaries who can in the main be bought off is facile.

    Hearts & Minds needs implementing soonest along with stepped up training of local troops & police. Possible increment in NATO-ISAF troops from more member states for elections & disengagment.

  84. 91 Abram
    October 29, 2009 at 03:03

    Like those Somali pirates who are paid million Dollar ransom for releasing the ships in the Gulf of Aden?

  85. 92 Saut
    October 29, 2009 at 05:30

    What’s so new and special about this? The mighty Roman empire paid tributes to Attilla the Hun to have peace. The Chinese Emperors not only build walls but paid the barabarians to stay out of China. Guess there is now only one direction for the USA… its decline.

  86. 93 jing yan from Singapore
    October 29, 2009 at 07:33

    I think the handouts is a good idea provided that those people whom you are paying are Talibans who fight for the sole reason of earning enough money to support his family in such a war-torn, cutthroat society. Thus by giving them income to break away from the Taliban, it might prove to be effective.

  87. October 29, 2009 at 07:40

    of course i agree with the many doubts which others raise over this issue of handouts such as the trustworthiness of the Talibans involved in this deal but I think that at this point of time the USA is at its wits’ end so why not use this policy? I also think that other policies should also be used in tandem with this handouts policy so that the problem of Talibans can be solved gradually and any success would be sustainable in the future.

  88. 95 Chuksagwu
    October 29, 2009 at 08:25

    This idea is sure to bring tears to the eyes of those young servicemen who lost limbs and colleauges fighting the taliban. I agree every man has a price but the question is: what price, is it money or blood. I tell you the taliban values blood over money and would on use America’s money to re-arm and harm America.

  89. 96 Marty
    October 29, 2009 at 08:47

    This sounds absurd you know, it like paying a child in order to go to school instead of teaching the child the importance of school. This is the worst form of violence.

  90. 97 ash
    October 29, 2009 at 11:07

    Taliban are the product of extreme form of wahabi islam .. Talibans are jehadi madressa educated students who are from their early childhood being tought to kill non muslim as they believe Islam is the only supreme religion and not co exist with other religion.Killing non muslim and goingto heaven where 72 virgins waiting for them is the idology indocterined in them from early chilhood. Most of the funding their jehad come from militant pakistan army, ISI, DRUG MONEY, islamic charites,AND some middle east countries.it will be waste of money to give them money and hope for them to lay down arms.this certaily is a fantacy idea.

  91. 98 Audrius Kviliunas
    October 29, 2009 at 12:33

    Those Afghanistans who are in war and hate westerns will get money and those who are peaceful will live hungry life and get nothing? Expect that many of theese peaceful will flood Taliban that after this come to Amerikans and ask their part of money-will Amerikans have so much money? Only one positive Americans can get from this money-information about Taliban.And if this information will be true and usible in war operations-I can little understand this money.

  92. 99 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    October 29, 2009 at 13:10

    Buying people and governements off can actually work. Look at Jordan and Egypt. Do they not receive billions of American tax payers’ money every year in return for not fighting along the Palestinians against Israel?

  93. 100 gary
    October 29, 2009 at 13:20

    On the other hand, an army is a tool employed to enforce the ideas of its leadership. Discipline defines its existence and efficacy. Anything that affects discipline is an effective weapon. If money does so then its use is indicated. Of course, it may not; but this knowledge will have been obtained inexpensively.

  94. 101 scmehta
    October 29, 2009 at 13:32

    It’s the Taliban who must pay to quit; and the best payment they can make, while surrendering to quit their terrorist activities for ever, for the sake of world peace and to join main-stream of the civilized world, is by way of laying down their arms and ammunition before the authorities.

  95. 102 Dennis Junior
    October 29, 2009 at 13:47

    The side problem of paying the Taliban not fight is that; What would be the LONG-TERM plans to keep them from returning to fighting when the money runs out!!!

    =Dennis Junior=

  96. 103 Jim Newman
    October 29, 2009 at 14:11

    Hello again
    The Taliban would never accept money to quit because they are not fighting for money but to free their region from the foreign agressor. When the foreign agressors are finally thrown out then the people of the region will settle down to sort out their own problems.

  97. October 29, 2009 at 14:46

    I am condused as to how this would work. Do we know who the taliban leaders really are? if they become paid by the west, wouldn’t those leaders in effect become the enemy? The Taliban grunts are not fighting a war for wealth and power. Could Hitler have paid the US to lay down it’s weapons in WWII. Could Israel simply pay somebody to make them stop? Could the US simply have paid the south to give up slavery and averted millions of deaths?

    The Taliban are fighting what they belive is an assult on their moral values. A bigger problem is that there seems to be no centalized leadership. What they want is exactly opposite of what the west wants. They don’t see their treatment of women, social structure, and their idea of justice as inhumane. They see it as preserving their way of life, “conservative”.

    In contrast i have the opposite argument for North Korea who has a centralized government, and they desire to stableize their economy and their security. That requires energy, and in their mind, nuclear energy. In the 90’s they agreed to trade their plutonium processing plants that were best suited for making weapons for light water reactors that were better suited for making energy. The US renegged on the deal, an they returned to their previouse pursuits.

    You can’t by something that is not for sale.

  98. 105 Ibrahim in UK
    October 29, 2009 at 15:23

    For the past 10 years we have been repeatedly sold that the Taleban are ideologically evil murderers who hate freedom and want to kill anyone and anything not like them. The only way to deal with them is total annihilation
    After failing the annihilation for 10 years, now they are trying to sell us another story; the Taleban fighters are only in it for the money and would gladly stop fighting if they could afford to.
    The two stories contradict each other which makes us believe they don’t know what’s going on, or they’ve been lying to us (shock, horror)

    Maybe the story is somewhat different. Maybe the Taleban is growing because the Afghan people have grown tired of foreign invaders occupying their country along with their ineffective puppet ruler.

  99. October 29, 2009 at 22:22

    That’s like paying the stalker whose religion it is to stalk, to stop stalking you. How long will he stay stopped? Answer: Until he has sufficiently re funded his cause with the cowards money. money.

    Can one imagine China paying terrorists to stop??

  100. 107 crossfyah
    October 30, 2009 at 14:45

    The Census Bureau said today that it estimates 47.4 million Americans are living in poverty, which is 7 million more than the estimate it released earlier this year and translates to one in six Americans. Ask yourselves this,why is america sacrificing lives of innocent people to 1) propagate the lie of 9/11. 2) kill an ideology because it doesn’t conform with their interpretation of freedom? countless ‘veterans’ of both the Afghan and Iraq wars return home to become homeless and forgotten by the country they sacrificed so much for, a country that is squandering its resources in needless conflicts that do not benefit the majority of Americans but the elite. Then ask yourself ‘what if’ just what if these highly trained soldiers that return home battle scarred become frustrated by the prospect of being unable to live a normal life decide to use their skills and training to bring attention to their plight post war years? Homegrown terror isn’t such a distant fantasy. who would have provided the skills to the new faces of terror? America herself. It is high time america stopped meddling in other peoples affairs and look after its own.

  101. 108 Methusalem
    October 30, 2009 at 18:04

    Now I understand why everyone likes cuddling Teddy Bear — one of the most aggressive and dangerous animals.

  102. October 30, 2009 at 20:05

    Maybe every man has his price. But the real question is, if it is possible to ‘defeat’ the taliban by bribery, why go to war to begin with and have our soldiers killed? Would it not be better to do this bribery – and there are many ways to do this- without a war that costs innumerable lives?

  103. October 31, 2009 at 15:51

    Nelson Mandela was called a terrorist and now he is a hero but as far as I know he was not paid a penny when he was a terrorist.

  104. 111 Lakjaya
    January 29, 2010 at 13:35

    It is disgrace to agree to pay money for Taleban to lay down their arms. UK USA and others should held their heads in shame if this is to go-ahead

    They should learn from the srilankan politicians how to deal with the blood thirsty terrorises

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