Counter-Terrorism: Playing The Get-Out-Of-Sanctions Card

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July 9, 2011: Last month (June 17th), the UN declared that the Taliban and al Qaeda were no longer to be considered allies, or equally dangerous. Many counter-terrorism experts within the UN protested, but the decisions was made for political reasons. The Afghan government has been trying to convince pro-Taliban tribal leaders to break with terrorist organizations and practices. Since some of these tribal leaders have come to be considered Taliban, because after years of working with the terrorists, they have become subject to sanctions placed on all Taliban and al Qaeda members. But it's easier to get these Islamic conservative tribal leaders to renounce their Taliban alliance if they can be assured that they will be freed from the international sanctions.

But some counter-terror officials recognize that many of the "negotiations" with the Taliban are just another form of corruption. These tribal leaders want a foot in both camps, and many will not give up their Taliban connections once they pledge loyalty to the government. Moreover, the Taliban is behind most of the terror attacks carried out in Afghanistan. If anything, al Qaeda should be considered the minor partner in this loathsome partnership.

The idea here is that the Taliban can be talked into renouncing their Islamic radical ways. There's no evidence of that. Those currently running the Taliban terror campaign are as bloody minded as the Arab terrorists in Iraq (although not as effective, but that's another story.) The way tribal politics works in Afghanistan, it's considered acceptable to change your beliefs as easily as your clothes, and not be thought of any less for it. Alas, an Islamic terrorist is likely to stay a killer until captured or killed. Given the widespread corruption in Afghanistan, it's believed that the Taliban will take advantage of any UN amnesties to get real killers, and not just people who changed their minds, off lists of known terrorists.

 


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