Only legitimate government can neutralize Taliban in Afghanistan: ExpertsMarch 8th, 2009 - 2:54 pm ICT by ANI
New York, Mar.8 (ANI): Only a legitimate and credible government in Afghanistan can neutralize the advances being made by the Taliban in that country, feel experts.
I think it is clear that you have to have a political solution to Afghanistan, and I wouldnt rule anything off the table, including conversations with some aspects of the Taliban, said Reuben Brigety, an Afghanistan expert at the Center for American Progress.
The key to winning back the population is to establish legitimate government, the New York Times quoted Clare Lockhart, a former adviser to the Afghan government and the co-author of Fixing Failed States, as saying.
If you give people a government with sufficient credibility and basic jobs you can win back their trust, she added.
There are multiple motivations for why these insurgents could be fighting, Brigety asserts, suggesting that for some lower-level Taliban, the fight against NATO forces could emanate from something other than a desire to bring down the Afghan government or to defeat the United States. More importantly, though, is there are fissures that could be exploited. As long as weve adopted a position that all are our enemies, we could be missing an opportunity to exploit those divisions, Brigety said, returning to the divide-and-conquer theme.
Daniel Markey, a former South Asia expert at the State Department under President Bush, said that lessons learned in Iraq where the Bush administration enlisted Sunni militias as allies by negotiating with tribal leaders dont necessarily apply in Afghanistan.
The tribal structure in Afghanistan is different than in Iraq. Theres no clear hierarchy. If you make a deal with one guy, you have a deal with one guy, and not his whole clan, Markey said.
You fight, you talk, you fight, you talk. If by talking, you can divide your enemies, talk. But if by talking, youre just giving your enemies breathing space, then dont talk, he concluded. (ANI)
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