There absolutely is and I don’t think it is necessarily not possible with the Taliban. Most of the fighters we see in Afghanistan are Afghans, some with foreign cadre with them. But most we don’t see are deeply ideological or even politically motivated; most are operating for pay; some are under a commander’s charismatic leadership; some are frustrated with local leaders.
So I believe there is significant potential to go after what I would call mid- and low-level Taliban fighters and leaders and offer them re-integration into Afghanistan under the constitution.
Notice two things. First, that’s the position adopted by the Afghan government. Second, it doesn’t say a thing about negotiations or ceasefires with the Taliban. The Taliban see little reason to talk to the government since they perceive themselves to be winning. On Monday, a government-announced ceasefire in Baghdis broke down “within hours.” Josh Foust has more on the folly of additional negotiations. Tough as it can be to hear, the incentive structure for the Taliban right now doesn’t favor negotiations; it favors fighting. It’s up to McChrystal to change that dynamic.
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