There is a well-known saying in Afghanistan: “You can rent an Afghan, but you can’t buy him.”
Yeah I have said that on here several times. It is a very common saying, and even though this may be true in Afghanistan, it does not mean we should be doing it.
The bill includes a Taliban reintegration provision under the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, which is now receiving $1.3 billion. CERP funding also is intended for humanitarian relief and reconstruction projects at commanders’ discretion. The buyout idea, according to the Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is to separate local Taliban from their leaders, replicating a program used to neutralize the insurgency against Americans in Iraq.
I have also said on this blog more times than I can remember that Afghanistan is not Iraq. Wasting our money renting the temporary loyalty of the Afghan man is a complete waste of money and resources that our country cannot afford to waste. This loyalty will only last as long as the money does and then the Afghan man will go back to giving his loyalty to the Taliban by virtue of being paid off or having his or his families’ lives threatened.
Even Nicholas Schmidle sees the fault in this mindset.
“So long as the Americans are keenly aware of this, you’re buying a very, very, very temporary allegiance,” he said. “If that’s the foundation for moving forward, it’s a shaky foundation.”