The British Prime Minister has announced plans to tempt Taliban fighters in Afghanistan to sever ties with al-Qaeda by buying them off.
Gordon Brown told a conference on Afghanistan in London, attended by 60 world leaders, that a special fund would be set up to win over foot soldiers, but they would also have to renounce violence.
He said: “To those insurgents who refuse to accept the conditions for reintegration, we have no choice but to pursue them militarily.”
The conference heard Brown say that the international community has until the middle of 2011 to break the stalemate in the Afghan war, which is already in its ninth year.
NATO allies hope the money, and an influx of 30,000 more troops will do the job.
The fighting in Afghanistan has intensified over the past 12 months and with public opinion in the West getting weary of the mounting losses there are already rumblings about an exit strategy through a political settlement with Taliban leaders.