America has admitted the Afghan campaign is not going well and there are now hints the US is prepared to talk to more moderate elements of the Taliban in a bid to bring peace. The US hopes talking to the Taliban might mirror a successful campaign in Iraq, where moderate Sunni groups were paid to maintain law and order.
Speaking to NATO allies in Brussels, US Vice President Joe Biden said the same strategy could work in Afghanistan. He said: “Five per cent of the Taliban are incorrigible. Another 25 per cent are uncertain of how much they want to be engaged in the conflict. About 70 per cent are there simply for the money.” Biden stressed his trip to Brussels was intended simply to listen to the United States’ allies. This contrasts with the noisy slanging matches between Europe and the US over strategy during the Bush administration. America will announce its new policy in Afghanistan before a NATO summit in France in April.