“…Karzai’s advisers say one of his main goals for the May 12 meeting is winning President Obama’s support for negotiating with insurgent leaders, and for a Kabul peace conference that has been delayed until after the visit.
Although Karzai appears wary of a political deal with the Taliban that might threaten his power, diplomats in Kabul say he is interested in smaller-scale negotiations with individual commanders from the Taliban and another insurgent group, Hezb-e-Islami.
The prospect of high-level talks with the Taliban still appears far off, complicated by divisions within the Afghan government, uneasiness from the United States, and no clear sign that the Taliban wants to participate..
…Perhaps the main barrier to the success of such efforts is the deep mistrust that has developed between insurgents and the government over nearly nine years of war. Insurgents who join the reintegration program would have little protection from former comrades, and the incentives are hardly alluring.
“The fundamental problem with reintegration is the dissonance between motives of fighters and what reintegration has to offer, most of which is about job opportunities,” said Matt Waldman, a Harvard University researcher who has written about reintegration and recently interviewed several current and former Taliban commanders. “They’re not fighting for jobs.”
Instead, he said, they are fed up with what they see as a profiteering and exclusionary government that has strayed from Islamic principles, and they oppose the presence of nearly 100,000 U.S. troops in their country."
2010-05-03 19:17:24 UTC