KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Taliban fighters who agree to surrender and take part in vocational training can make $88 a week, military commanders in the north of the country said.
U.S. and NATO war planners have placed reintegration of Taliban foot soldiers at the top of their strategy for Afghanistan.
German Maj. Gen. Han-Werner Fritz, who commands international forces in the north of Afghanistan, said low- and middle-ranking Taliban are starting to migrate toward local police forces in the country.
"In the medium- and long-term, I think this is exactly what we need," he told the U.S. Defense Department-owned Stars and Stripes newspaper. "If the foot soldiers are leaving the Taliban leaders, who can the Taliban fight with?"
NATO leaders said reintegrated Taliban fighters can make about $88 per week by swearing allegiance to the Afghan government, lay down their weapons and enter vocational training programs. The returns so far are sporadic, NATO leaders said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his latest report to the U.N. Security Council, said that around 800 militants have come forward to take part in reconciling with the government.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is pushing ahead with a reintegration and reconciliation program with members of the Taliban who renounce al-Qaida and embrace the rule of law. A 70-member committee led by former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani is tasked with steering the effort.