Let’s just buy them out

14 08 2009

An interesting suggestion regarding how to win the war in Afghanistan, offered by John McCreary in the August 12 edition of his NightWatch intelligence briefing at AFCEA:

Consider, the US could put all the Taliban fighters on its payroll at twice the daily rate, withdraw all its forces except those needed to guard the paymasters, and buy the insurgency at less cost than maintaining forces, Burger King, Popeye’s, defense contractors and nautilus equipment in Bagram.

The savings in ordnance alone would be enough to buy loyalty of a sort of the insurgents, their families and their clans for as long as the US was wiling to pay. If the Taliban can buy fighters, the US should be able to out bid the Taliban for the same men. This comment intends no disrespect to Afghans; it acknowledges they are among the poorest people on the planet.

For as unorthodox as it sounds to start paying potential Taliban fighters to prevent them from joining the insurgency, when soldiers and innocent civilians are dying everyday, what do we really have to lose??