Paying the Taliban: Will it work?

February 11, 2010

It has been widely reported, most recently by Al-Jazeera, that the Obama administration and the British government have been contemplating paying off “moderate” elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan – to the tune of perhaps one billion dollars – as a means of pacifying resistance in that troubled nation. That proudly defiant American slogan, “millions for defense, but not one penny for tribute,” which traces its roots to the eighteenth century, would fall to the wayside if this attempt at appeasement turns into public policy.

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