HAMBURG, Germany, May 19 (UPI) -- A deal with the devil in Afghanistan is the mostly likely solution to a simmering insurgency, a study from a group of German think tanks said.
Margret Johannsen of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy in Hamburg co-authored a report criticizing a NATO war plan for broad counterinsurgency operations as counterproductive to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, Der Spiegel reports.
"I don't believe that it's possible to, at the same time, chase Taliban and build efficient state structures," she says.
The report by top think tanks in Germany said a reintegration and reconciliation plan offered by Afghan President Hamid Karzai might be the best course of action for the beleaguered country.
Karzai during his visit to Washington last week outlined plans to invite low- and mid-level Taliban into the political process if they pledged to sever ties with al-Qaida. Taliban leaders, however, said they would not enter into talks while Western forces were in the country. Correspondents for National Public Radio, meanwhile, say the Taliban have reconstituted their presence in Helmand province, where U.S. and international forces launched a major offensive in February.
Nevertheless, Johannsen said dealing with the Taliban should be part of a new strategy for Afghanistan.
"Those leaders are interested in having their share of the power, so to speak," she said. "This must include security guarantees, also material incentives as well as that their honor is being respected so that they can, without losing their self-respect, lay down their arms."