Former Taliban returning to insurgency

A quarter of defectors raising arms again

Broken promises from government and a lack of rewards is leading nearly 25 per cent of Taliban defectors to rejoin the fight against western forces, according to Golden Surrender, a report by a Kabul-based think tank named the Afghanistan Analysts Network. It says NATO’s Peace and Reconciliation Scheme (PTS) is ineffective because of bad leadership and a lack of financial and political resources. Its release comes as western nations and the Afghan government launch a new, $1 billion two-pronged plan to negotiate with the insurgency’s leaders and entice fighters to drop their weapons. The new plan can’t come soon enough—so far the PTS has only reformed 646 of an estimated 36,000 Taliban soldiers over the last five years, and several of the 33 commanders who defected are believed to have returned to their former positions. Threats of retribution against villages, which NATO has tried to fight by establishing community defence initiatives (commonly called militias by critics), have also led fighters to switch sides a second time, while a report by Safety Office, an Afghan NGO, says the PTS has done little aside from creating additional tensions between rival tribes.

Times of London

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