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Afghan Government Cuts a Deal with the Taliban in the North

5:55 PM, Jul 27, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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As the U.S. and Britain are pushing for greater "integration" of the Taliban into Afghan society, the Afghan government cut a deal with the Taliban in the northwestern province of Badghis.

The ceasefire agreement calls for the Taliban not to interfere with the upcoming elections in one district in the province and an end to attacks on construction companies working on the Ring Road passing through the region. In exchange the military will not enter the district to secure the polling stations.

Afghan, British, and Pakistani forces have signed numerous agreements with the Taliban, only to see them backfire. The British debacle in Musa Qala led to the Taliban takeover of most of northern Helmand province. The British and Afghan armies couldn't oust the Taliban until they launched a major operation more than a year later.

Across the border in Pakistan, deals with the Taliban in Swat, North and South Waziristan, and a slew of tribal agencies and districts led to the rise of the Taliban that encroached to nearly 60 miles outside of the capital of Islamabad. The military had to launch a major operation in Swat to push back the Taliban, and in the process displaced more than three million people from their homes. The Taliban still control vast regions in northwestern Pakistan.

Perhaps things will be different with the Taliban in Badghis, but recent history says otherwise. And as the push for Taliban "integration" increases, deals like these will become more attractive to those looking for the easy way out of Afghanistan..