Karzai to Announce New Insurgent-Reconciliation Structure
There’s a big international conference in London beginning next Thursday to harmonize allied civilian efforts in Afghanistan. One thing to expect out of it: new “Afghan-led integration measures” to bring insurgents into line with the government, according to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
Miliband is before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee right now, outlining a few expectations for what the conference will produce. Some of it is vague: “coherence and clarity of the plan for Afghanistan” among the 70-odd foreign ministers expected to attend is the “biggest deliverable of all,” Miliband said. But Miliband set a specific expectation by saying a new mechanisms for persuading Afghan insurgents to come in from the cold were crucial for success, adding that he referred to “structures I hope that President Karzai will announce next Thursday.”
It’ll be interesting to see what Karzai might outline. There is a longstanding political consensus on the need for integrating insurgents and reconciling with those fighters who have no ties to al-Qaeda. But the mechanisms in place to date have yielded only sporadic results.
Another thing to expect from the conference: a new civilian counterpart to Gen. Stanley McChrystal.