Hamid Karzai asked that five Taliban, who had left the movement, be removed from the UN-established list of persons to sanction and he obtained 140 million dollars to finance the first year of his national reconciliation program. Some days earlier, Gen. Stanley McCrystal himself had opened the door to this political stage in the conflict by declaring to the Financial Times, « As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there’s been enough fighting in Afghanistan … »It’s not certain that this new tactic will convince soldiers engaged in the southern provinces – who know that money injected into the enemy runs the risk, at least at first, of resulting in a fresh upsurge in NATO troop losses. And then, « why risk one’s life today fighting our allies of tomorrow? » wonders public opinion in the countries where soldiers fighting in Afghanistan come from. Others unhappy with the new Western strategy: Afghan women.
« What concessions will Hamid Karzai’s government grant the Taliban so they agree to the Constitution? » warned the president of a women’s association who was present at the London conference on Afghanistan. « You can be sure that it will be women who pay the price for this ‘national reconciliation.’ Eight years of war for what? To end up offering pledges to the Taliban! »
Translation: Truthout French Language Editor Leslie Thatcher.