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This House believes NATO countries and the government of Afghanistan should negotiate a power-sharing deal with the Taliban.
This House believes NATO countries and the government of Afghanistan should negotiate a power-sharing deal with the Taliban.
The Taliban first emerged in an organized form in 1994, from the confusion of twenty years of civil war in Afghanistan. They presented themselves as an incorruptible religious movement taking a stand against warlords. By 1996, they had taken control of most of the country and secured Kabul, the capital, setting up their version of a pure Islamic state. The group is known for its rigid interpretation of Islamic law, under which it publicly executed criminals and outlawed the education of women. Notwithstanding its popularity among many impoverished rural communities, the Taliban’s approach to law and governance, along with the form of Islam that they promote, is alien to the average Afghan.
The Taliban ruled until the U.S.-led invasion of 2001 drove them from power – the result of close links between senior members of the regime and the leaders of the al-Qaeda terror network, including Osama Bin Laden. The ousting of the Taliban was a key objective of the U.S. government’s response to the 9/11 attack.
Although the group has been out of power for several years, it remains a strong cultural force in the region, where it operates parallel governance structures aimed at undermining the U.S.-backed central government. Currently, Afghanistan is nominally led by President Hamid Karzai, but the resurgent Taliban controls important stretches of territory. The country’s relationship with the United States and NATO remains a key issue, as they still have more than 100,000 troops in the country working with local forces to fight the continuing Taliban insurgency. Complicating the situation is the high level of corruption fueled, in part, by cash from the illicit opium trade . This does not represent the core of the problem, however. The Taliban would exist with or without opium crops; the funds that they receive simply serve to entrench their position.
There is no doubt that solving such a controversial problem requires a complex understanding of the political situation. President Obama has said that a power-sharing deal that may include the Taliban is in the works. However, he maintains that such a deal should be approached with caution and will in no way compromise American values of freedom and justice. Even if the Taliban are not included, can Pakistan, where many of the Taliban base themselves, and Afghanistan be trusted? Members of Hamid Karzai’s family are allegedly connected to the illegal narcotics trade. Pakistanhas been accused repeatedly of playing a double game with the United States and the Taliban. Speaking directly with Taliban leaders on an equal front can clear away much of the confusion caused in communication by Pak-Afghan mediators. It could also, hypothetically give the Taliban a false sense of victory so that they are appeased and consequently, curb their murderous rampage. A false sense of victory could also mean a rise in terror resulting from confidence in their cause. Would it be wise to share power with the Taliban?
|Points For||Points Against|
|The campaign is unpopular among the majority of NATO countries citizens, so we should solve the Afghan problem in diplomatic way, specifically through a power-sharing deal with the Taliban.||The Taliban is a cruel and undemocratic regime, and so it should not be given any power.|
|The war is too expensive, so a deal needs to be made to end it.||The Taliban supports terrorist organizations, so they are not to be trusted.|
|The threat of Talibanization is too great under the status quo to continue with current policy.||The Taliban failed to provide good government for Afghanistan.|
|Afghan history shows failings of foreign invasion, so this campaign is also doomed to failure.||The Taliban manipulates the drug trade according to its will, so it should not be included into the government.|
|We have successful precedents in Iraq and Africa, proving that a power-sharing approach works.|
Remember to choose a winning argument!
The campaign is unpopular among the majority of NATO countries citizens, so we should solve the Afghan problem in diplomatic way, specifically through a power-sharing deal with the Taliban.
The majority of citizens in the USA and the UK oppose the war in Afghanistan and want troops to come back home. As was the case in Iraq, a diplomatic solution is required to end the war as smoothly as possible. As at 12 August 2011, a total of 379 British forces personnel or MOD civilians have died while serving in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001. About 2000 coalition soldiers in total expired in Afghanistan. More than 1340 British soldiers have been wounded in action. U.S opinion poll proclaims that 62% of Americans want troops home as soon as possible while the rest want a timetable for troop withdrawal. According to Michael Moore, Obama is the new war president. He needs to prove that he is a peacemaker to retrieve the support of his people. The media agrees that the war is unpopular and there needs to be an end creating sentiment like “I wish they would bring them all home.” Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian argues “I think the people in Wootton Bassett [where UK soldiers are repatriated] are representative of a very widespread... feeling, actually, of outrage on their behalf that is quite new in British politics. A complete withdrawal is in public demand. This requires a power-sharing deal.”
 Ministry of Defense, Operations in Afghanistan: British Fatalities, http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/Operat...
 Devin Dwyer and Luis Martinez, «Afghanistan War Costs More Than 1,000 U.S. Service Members' Lives», abcNEWS, May 28, 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-military-casualties-afghanistan-pakist...
 CBS NEWS POLL, for release: July 13, 2010, http://www.scribd.com/doc/34290347/CBS-News-Poll-Pessimism-about-Economy...
 Michael Moore, «An Open Letter To President Obama On Afghanistan», Posted November 30, 2009 04:00 AM, Huffpost World, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/an-open-letter-to-preside_b_...
 PBS REPORT War Weary British Seek An End in Afghanistan, Margaret Warner travels to the tiny English village of Wootton Bassett and finds growing unease about British involvement in Afghanistan, Dec. 8, 2009, Transcript http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/july-dec09/britain_12-08.html
The argument here presented by the proposition that the majority of people in US are fed up with the war, true. But that is because they were not the ones facing abuse at the Taliban hands or fighting a civil war which resulted in the killing of 100,000, but the minority will be slaughtered if this is allowed to happen. This genocide in the making should not be allowed to happen. This will also lead to a civil war. Though the minorities are exhausted but they broke it and have a moral imperative to fix it. A lot of people have come out in support of the "western" forces, they will face retribution and future attempts to win hearts and minds will fail when the fickleness of our resolve is exposed. This is a slippery slope if we slide down there is no telling how far down we will fall. This should be the centre of the discussion; our opponents want to put popularity before lives and security and which is wrong.
 Dexter Filkins, «Overture to Taliban Jolts Afghan Minorities», The New York Times, published June 26, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/world/asia/27afghan.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
The war is too expensive, so a deal needs to be made to end it.
President Obama himself has said, “Ultimately as was true in Iraq, so will be true in Afghanistan; we will have to have a political solution.”
At a time when fiscal policy has become a major concern among western legislatures and commentators, the increasing cost of the war is proving to be politically contentious. Therefore, a political solution to the conflict is no longer merely desirable, but necessary. Continuing the war will cost too much, both in political and budgetary terms. USA and UK have to make financial considerations in light of the continuing aftermath of the global financial crisis. One glaring estimate suggests that America will spend over 700 billion U.S dollars on the military in 2010. The conflict in Afghanistan cost approximately $51 billion in 2009 and was expected to hit $65 billion in 2010. The purchase of air conditioning systems for Afghani facilities accounts for more than $20 billion of this figure.
Obama's policy of deploying more and more troops has cost the American people significantly more than the status quo would have. Every extra thousand personnel deployed to Afghanistan costs about $1 billion. In the current financial climate taking on such exorbitant costs is not in the economic interest of the USA. It is not only sending troops (and reinforcements) to Afghanistan, but also the medical treatment of war veterans when they return that is costing America huge sums of money. The number of psychologically ill soldiers; as well as those suffering from near-fatal and/or debilitating injuries is still climbing tragically upwards, furthering the cost. To top that, war veterans feel that Americans are not paid enough. Mr.Obey, Rep. John P. Murtha and Rep. John B. Larson have proposed levying an annual tax of $30,000 on US citizens to 'share their(the military's) burden.
 Doug Bandow, «A War We Can't Afford The National Interests», January 4, 2010, http://nationalinterest.org/article/a-war-we-cant-afford-3344
Here the argument presented by the proposition is an attempt to deceive the opposition and the house. The act that the proposition has presented has not been passed by the US government and is highly unlikely to happen in the future as well. The argument is right if the assumption that the deficits are long term. And it is not so. The deficit as a proportion of GDP is still more than manageable and more spending is needed. The only current indication of this is long term interest rates on US treasury bonds and these have been falling.
Secondly from a purely economic viewpoint, the battle between US and Taliban is not entirely negative. Historically military spending can help boost growth as was shown by World War II pulling the US out of the great depression of the 1930s. What nations need when in a recession is more economic activity and the arms industry and the countless other industries a war necessitates makes this war as good as it gets for the economy. Of course there is a danger of the US budget deficit leading to higher long term lending costs but if we look at the date from the last ten years interest rates on US treasury bonds have been falling. Therefore the US can borrow cheaply, has 9 million plus unemployed and companies are not willing to hire as they are already reaping huge profits off labor cost cuts. Economically the war in Afghanistan is good for America.Improve this
The threat of Talibanization is too great under the status quo to continue with current policy.
If a diplomatic solution is not reached or even proposed , the security situation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan will deteriorate and this is a matter of serious concern since the latter is a nuclear power. Violence in the region can only be disseminated if the Taliban feel they are not being attacked but are included; then peace has a chance of prevailing. If the region were to be left as is Increasing Taliban activity could further destabilize the border regions of Pakistan, while attacks mounted against the Afghan interior would cause significant damage and endanger thousands of live. 
An entrenched Afghani Taliban could support and embolden groups with similar ideologies elsewhere in central Asia and the subcontinent. For instance, groups ideologically identical to the Taliban effectively subdued the Pakistani military in the Swat Valley allowing them to impose their version of sharia law and institute measures that included closing girls' schools, banning music, and installing complaint boxes for reports of anti-Islamic behaviour. Continue with the status quo and the Taliban will simply re-conquer Afghanistan when the coalition leaves.
 Amna Saboor, «The Waziristan problem», December 14th, 2008, http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2008/12/14/the-waziristan...
 Jane Perlez and Zubair Shan Truce in Pakistan May Mean Leeway for Taliban, The New York Times, published March 5, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/06/world/asia/06swat.html
How can the Taliban be included if they absolutely disagree on negotiating, but instead want to overthrow the government? So far the Taliban has always insisted that they will refuse to negotiate until all foreign forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan. This means that we are actually making the problems worse for the people over there instead of better.
We really need to have a reliable partner in the region. Nowadays Pakistan is designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States with fighting Taliban. In 2007, the National Security Council of Pakistan met to decide the fate of Waziristan and take up a number of political and administrative issues in order to control the “Talibanization” of the area. The meeting was chaired by President Pervez Musharraf and attended by the Chief Ministers and Governors of all 4 provinces. They discussed the deteriorating law and order situation and the threat posed to state security. The restoration of peace in North and South Waziristan will be a great challenge. The dilemma is not only that the local Taliban in North Waziristan are not ready to speak with the government, but they also disallow anyone else in the region from speaking with the authorities. In these troubled areas, political agents are seen only in their official functions and troops are limited merely to forts and bunkers.
Yes, Pakistan already has nuclear weapon, but it is important to underline that legitimate government has it, not the terrorists group. If we go through, we can say, a ‘blackmail’ of terrorist having a nuclear weapon we are risked to have them a chance to capture the power and provide their cruel politics.
 Andrew Blandford, «Talking with the Taliban: Should the U.S. "Bargain with Devil" in Afghanistan?», Harvard Negotiation Law Review, http://www.hnlr.org/?p=142
 Sohail Abdul Nasir, «The Talibanization of the North-West Frontier», Terrorism Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 12, June 15, 2006, 01:57 PM, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=807&tx_ttnews[backPid]=181&no_cache=1
Afghan history shows failings of foreign invasion, so this campaign is also doomed to failure.
No state has ever been able to impose alien political institutions on the Afghani people, whether by force or by flattery. The Russians tried and so did the British, but neither was successful. In fact, the greatest massacre of British soldiers happened in Afghanistan in 1842. The British then awarded these tribesmen with fancy titles and the Khyber pass was thereafter protected by Pakistani and Afghan tribes (the ancestors of the Mujahadeen & then the Taliban). The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was thus never manned by British soldiers. More than 16,000 people had set out on the retreat from Kabul, and in the end only one man, Dr. William Brydon, a British Army surgeon made it alive to Jalalabad. The Russians threw bombs, tanks, landmines and napalm at the Afghan guerrilla army, the Mujahadeen. They killed around half a million people, injured many more but they still faced dismal defeat in the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980's. Therefore before the situation spirals out of control, the British and the Americans should commence a power sharing deal with the Taliban. The opposition may argue that the Taliban cannot be trusted. Nine insurgents are very capable of fibbing about the Pakistani intelligence. There is no way that funds siphoned off from any clandestine secret intelligence agency can realistically be traced to it. Word of mouth, especially when the mouth belongs to the enemy is rarely credible. Therefore negotiating with the Taliban directly feels ineffective. They might argue that talks solely with Pakistani-Afghan government representatives is a rather more feasible and less dangerous means of achieving the coalition's desired end. However, such talks frequented have borne little fruit. In fact Pakistan and Afghanistan are both pushing for talks including the Taliban if any progression towards peace is to be made. The coalition's ancestors were wise.
 Robert McNamara, «Britain's Disastrous Retreat from Kabul», http://history1800s.about.com/od/colonialwars/a/kabul1842.htm
 «Obama Will Vow Troops Leaving by July 2011», CBSNEWS, December 1, 2009 9:35 PM, Updated 3:44 p.m. ET, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/12/01/politics/main5851527.shtml
This is the weakest argument by far. It isn't logical. As all of us who've read about Karl Popper will attest that a historical trend is not an indication of future courses unless causality can be proven. Here it can’t. It’s a different war altogether. Historical parallels make sense in college classrooms, not when a Taliban fighter faces a drone attack; Did the soviets have drones? No, they didn’t.
Also «Pakistan and Afghanistan are both pushing for talks including the Taliban» is factually incorrect. The Pakistan president said that talking with the Taliban is not an option «unless we want to breed terrorism».
The current scenario is completely different from the past, not only about the time factor but also political conditions. Previous battles were fought against not only the militia but also its supporting government. This time, the battle is against an independent Taliban force that is backing up the Al- Qaeda group.Improve this
We have successful precedents in Iraq and Africa, proving that a power-sharing approach works.
African countries and in Iraq have proved that power-sharing deal works. So, it means that it is possible to find a solution for Afghanistan. For example, Iraq seems to be no need for us to prove that power-sharing has worked to greatly improve conditions in the country. Conditions that horrifically grew at an incredible pace during the war in Iraq. The Iraqi government comprises of many members of the late Saddam regime who have been granted amnesty for their crimes. Members of the Taliban can be instated in governments through power-sharing (not giving) deal; in the same way.
Talks in Kenya ensued during the Bush administration when funds for the recuperation of fourth world African affairs were channelled to the region, jointly by the USA and UK. Both Blair and Bush worked side by side with formerly corrupt and violent African leaders to pick the Countries up. South Africa, which is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank (formerly a fourth world country) is now doing better than both India and China (third-world countries) on the economic front.
 Obama: Time for Iraqis to 'take responsibility', NBC News and news services, updated 4/7/2009 1:29:02 PM ET, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30087747/#.Tk5vjF3BDqQ
It should first be pointed out that all conflicts are unique, products of the political and social settings in which they arise. Geopolitics and foreign policy are not as dependent on precedent as most debaters would like to think.
The main objective of the USA and the UK behind the power sharing deal in Africa is to extract the resources of the African continent. The proposition is basically trying to deceive us with this point. The power sharing deals made by the USA (collaborating with the UK, at times) are all for their own selfish interests. Be it in Africa or Iraq, USA has applied its own vested interest in most cases. Africa is very rich in resources. The US saw all of these and then shared power with the nation just to earn some benefit in utilizing the resources. Furthermore, the United States went to war against Iraq because of the Middle East country's oil reserves, a greater concern to the USA than that of searching for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and taking Saddam Hussein out of power.
The power sharing in Afghanistan and Pakistan would not only to exploit the oil resources but also have a watchful eye towards China, India and Russia.
 Aryn Baker, «Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban» , The Time Magazine, July 29, 20, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2007407,00.html
The Taliban is a cruel and undemocratic regime, and so it should not be given any power.
The Taliban oppressed their own people, especially women and ethnic or religious minorities. A very strict, distinctive interpretation of Sunni Islam was enforced zealously (with public executions and amputations) as they attempted to build the world’s purest Islamic state. Television and music were banned, women had to be fully covered up and were forbidden from receiving an education or working (despite many families having lost their male members after years of warfare, and so rendering many families entirely dependent upon food aid for survival), and their access to healthcare was restricted.
The well-known story provided by Time Magazine: Aisha who ran away from her husband’s house. Her husband was abusing her physically and mentally. When she was caught by the Taliban «soldiers», she was taken to the Taliban Court and given a punishment in their law. The punishment was, her ears and nose was cut. She was then left for dead however she survived because an Afghan Rights group managed to save her. She is just one example. Therefore, if we let the Taliban participate in power-sharing, they will try to implement their form of justice which is totally biased when it comes to women. We cannot afford to sacrifice women rights for peace in Afghanistan.
Another example of the violence is the massacre of Yakaolang in January 2001: Hazaras were victimized for 4 days, detained 300 civilian adult males, including staff members of humanitarian orgnisations. Men were shot at public places. Rocket launchers were fired at Mosques were 73 women and children were sheltering. In May 2000, 26 civilians of Hazara Shi’as group were executed in robatak pass. In August 1998 Taliban captured Mazar- I- Sharif. Reports of killing of around 2000- 5000 people mostly of Hazara clan were presented.
All of this shows the barbarity of the Taliban’s activities, which so far hasn’t stopped.
 Eyewitness accounts of Taliban massacre in Yakaolang, By RAWA reporters, June, 2001 http://www.rawa.org/yakw-r.htm
The Taliban were not the only oppressive regime in the world and it was hypocritical to single them out, especially when many of their practices are shared by friendly, pro-western states such as Saudi Arabia. Their views were not an entirely alien imposition upon Afghan society, but were rooted in the traditions of the Pashtun, one of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic groups.
The war has done nothing to improve the conditions of women and children in the war-zone! Women' rights are already being violated in both coalition countries and the war-zone. Rape, murder and theft are soaring the world over. While petty financial crimes are reduced. Domestic violence especially against women and children is on a steep climb and remains largely under-reported. Only 35% cases are reported in the UK
The proposition has however provided evidence that the conditions of Afghan and Pakistani civilians have deteriorated as a consequence of the war: air strikes, drone attacks, physio-psychological trauma and so forth.
The proposition has time and time again asserted that the war must be put to an end and the only means to win it in real terms is to talk the Taliban out of it. Both the Americans and British have a history of accomplishing peace with groups that the Taliban roots from by bargaining with them to renounce their natural guerrilla-fighting instincts.
 Crime Statistics, http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap-crime-rapes, Domestic violence statistics, http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Domestic-violence-statistics
The Taliban supports terrorist organizations, so they are not to be trusted.
The Times Square attack and the Twin Tower attacks are examples of how the Taliban are actually cultivating terrorists to carry out international terrorist acts. The Taliban sheltered international terrorists, of whom Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaida organisation were the most prominent. In addition to Al-Qaida’s strikes against American targets worldwide, fundamentalist terrorists trained in Afghanistan have been active in Chechnya, Kosovo, Central Asia, Indian Kashmir and China. This has resulted in the destabilisation of the region and contributed to a great deal of human misery. Therefore, the US and UK cannot afford to risk their nation's security by leaving Taliban to raise, equip and fund terrorists. Even for their own safety, they cannot leave the Taliban in power. The Obama administration is working on establishing a stable government - a government that has trained police force, trusted government officials and better educational system. Therefore, letting the Taliban share power means they will try to reinforce their own system which means none of the above can actually happen. This is not acceptable.
 The Economist, Debate: This house believes that the war in Afghanistan is winnable, May 17th 2010, http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/516
The Taliban are not the only regime in the world to have sheltered terrorists – Syria, Iran, Iraq, Cuba and North Korea are all viewed by the USA’s State Department as state sponsors of terrorism. Indeed, although the Taliban provide shelter for terrorist groups to train, the other states could be seen to go further, by actively initiating and funding terrorism. Moreover, given that Russia and the Central Asian former soviet states have been opposed to the Taliban from the start, and backed the Northern Alliance against it in the Afghan civil war, it is hardly surprising that the Taliban backed their own rebel movements. It could also be asked whether rebels in Chechnya, Kosovo and China should be seen as terrorists or freedom fighters.
The opposition cannot be expecting the proposition to defend the reinstatement of the pseudo-religious-extremist-fundamentalist Taliban regime. We are in fact calling for exactly the opposite: Please the Taliban by negotiating with them on the coalition's terms not theirs and avert the old form of Taliban rule in the region. If the coalition leaves without any talks whatsoever then an extremist Taliban takeover of both Pakistan and Afghanistan is a distinct possibility. If the coalition leaves after buying the Taliban out while imposing conditions imperative to human rights and western values (including respect for other ethnic/religious/ideological groups). Then we have a chance for peace. To claim that aggressively fighting on the ground will end racial conflict when 9 years of fighting have only exacerbated these problems; is rather ignorant. It entails learning nothing at all from history/past-mistakes. If this kind of warfare which the Taliban are much better at; continues the war will be lost. If instead as the wonderful Obama has suggested we resort to peaceful talks this time directly with the Taliban, then we have a chance of winning.Improve this
The Taliban failed to provide good government for Afghanistan.
The Taliban is more concerned with religious purity than the physical welfare of the people. As a result, millions of Afghans still live in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan, while millions of others are desperately short of food and face starvation. The Taliban made the situation worse by harassing UN workers and aid agencies, in defiance of the usual diplomatic norms, imprisoning westerners on religious charges and impeding the flow of humanitarian relief to their own people.
During the five-year history of the Islamic Emirate, much of the population experienced restrictions on their freedom and violations of their human rights. Women were banned from jobs, girls forbidden to attend schools or universities. Those who resisted were punished instantly. Communists were systematically eradicated and thieves were punished by amputating one of their hands or feet. Meanwhile, the Taliban managed to nearly eradicate the majority of the opium production by 2001.
 Afghanistan, Opium and the Taliban, February 15, 2001 8:19 p.m. EST, http://opioids.com/afghanistan/index.html
It was not the fault of the Taliban that there were several years of drought in Afghanistan, something which would cause great suffering in any peasant economy. And while some Afghan refugees specifically fled the Taliban’s austere regime, most were displaced during two decades of warfare that preceded it, or left the country for economic reasons. Nor is it surprising that the Taliban had difficult relations with the representatives of the United Nations, as it is not recognised by the UN, where the Afghanistan seat in the General Assembly was still held by the discredited regime the Taliban overthrew.
The opposition seems to think that negotiations equal to condoning human right's violations and handing over a sort of Carte blanche to the Taliban. Whereas talks pressurize such groups effectively to give up their evil ways.
The point of talks is to give very little power on very definite humanitarian conditions/terms. To trade.
If there are no talks; then the Taliban will proclaim victory (as they do already) once the coalition forces are withdrawn and continue fighting local governments at the cost of civilian lives in the region. (The eventual withdrawal of coalition forces is not being debated).The war is in an economic loss and the people/governments of the democratic nations of the UK and USA frankly care more about their/our failing economies than the state of Afghan civilians who have been suffering with the coalition's knowledge since before 1989. To clarify further for the opposition seems to not be wary of this; in democracies, countries should and in time do; work according to the will of their people.Improve this
The Taliban manipulates the drug trade according to its will, so it should not be included into the government.
The Taliban are responsible for flooding the world with heroin produced from the opium grown there; over 90% of the heroin on the streets of the UK originated in Afghanistan.
In 2000, the Taliban issued a decree banning cultivation. By 2001, production had reportedly been reduced from 12,600 acres (51 km2) to only 17 acres (7 ha). Opium production was reportedly cut back by the Taliban not to prevent its use, but to increase its price, and thus increase the income of Afghan poppy farmers and tax revenue. Therefore, the regime relied upon levies on the movement of drugs as one of its principle sources of funding. No other government has ever been so complicit in a trade that kills and ruins lives all over the world.
 Afghanistan, Opium and the Taliban, February 15, 2001 8:19 p.m. EST, http://opioids.com/afghanistan/index.html
 Benjamin, Daniel, The Age of Sacred Terror by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, New York: Random House, c2002, p.145) (source: Edith M. Lederer, "U.N. Panel Accuses Taliban of Selling Drugs to Finance War and Train Terrorists," Associated Press, 2001-05-25.
Intense international demand for opium has led to poppies becoming a preferred cash crop among Afghan farmers. Although historically known for its fruit and vegetable production, the high prices commanded by opium mean that it is regarded as financially resilient, immune to large price fluctuations and still offering decent returns, even if a large proportion of a crop fails. Although the Taliban profited from levies on the opium trade, so did the warlords they displaced. In fact, in 2000 the Taliban, responding to global concern over the heroin trade and its own religious impulses, issued orders that opium should not be grown. As a result, production dropped by over 90% with a noticeable impact upon street prices of heroin in Europe. This suggests both that engagement with the Taliban was potentially constructive, and that a collapse of central control would give drug runners a free hand.Improve this
Andrew Blandford, «Talking with the Taliban: Should the U.S. "Bargain with Devil" in Afghanistan?», Harvard Negotiation Law Review, http://www.hnlr.org/?p=142
Steve Coll «U.S.-Taliban Talk», The New Yorker, February 28, 2011, http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/02/28/110228taco_talk_coll
Ministry of Defense, Operations in Afghanistan: British Fatalities, http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanBritishFatalities.htm
Devin Dwyer and Luis Martinez, «Afghanistan War Costs More Than 1,000 U.S. Service Members' Lives», abcNEWS, May 28, 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-military-casualties-afghanistan-pakistan-uzbekistan-exceed-1000/story?id=10698927
CBS NEWS POLL, for release: July 13, 2010, http://www.scribd.com/doc/34290347/CBS-News-Poll-Pessimism-about-Economy-Low-Marks-for-President-Obama-July-9-12-2010
Michael Moore, «An Open Letter To President Obama On Afghanistan», Posted November 30, 2009 04:00 AM, Huffpost World, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/an-open-letter-to-preside_b_373457.html
REPORT War Weary British Seek An End in Afghanistan, Margaret Warner travels to the tiny English village of Wootton Bassett and finds growing unease about British involvement in Afghanistan, Dec. 8, 2009, Transcript http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/july-dec09/britain_12-08.html
Dexter Filkins, «Overture to Taliban Jolts Afghan Minorities», The New York Times, published June 26, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/world/asia/27afghan.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
Doug Bandow, «A War We Can't Afford The National Interests», January 4, 2010, http://nationalinterest.org/article/a-war-we-cant-afford-3344
Amna Saboor, «The Waziristan problem», December 14th, 2008, http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2008/12/14/the-waziristan-problem
Jane Perlez and Zubair Shan Truce in Pakistan May Mean Leeway for Taliban, The New York Times, published March 5, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/06/world/asia/06swat.html
Sohail Abdul Nasir, «The Talibanization of the North-West Frontier», Terrorism Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 12, June 15, 2006, 01:57 PM, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=807&tx_ttnews[backPid]=181&no_cache=1
Robert McNamara, «Britain's Disastrous Retreat from Kabul», http://history1800s.about.com/od/colonialwars/a/kabul1842.htm
«Obama Will Vow Troops Leaving by July 2011», CBSNEWS, December 1, 2009 9:35 PM, Updated 3:44 p.m. ET, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/12/01/politics/main5851527.shtml
«U.S., U.K. Waged War on Iraq Because of Oil, Blair Adviser Says», Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ahJS35XsmXGg&refer=top_world_news-redirectoldpage
Obama: Time for Iraqis to 'take responsibility', NBC News and news services, updated 4/7/2009 1:29:02 PM ET, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30087747/#.Tk5vjF3BDqQ
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NEWS & ANALYSIS: US & Afpak allies hoping to buy off many Taliban
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