Foreign Minister Murray McCully is refusing to contribute any New Zealand money to a fund that will buy-off the Taliban’s foot soldiers.
The so-called ‘ten dollar Taliban’ are often not ideological but motivated by Taliban cash. By giving them more lucrative and less dangerous options, the Karzi government and its international supporters hope to deprive the Taliban of a large part of its fighting force.
It’s a model that has met with success on numerous occasions in other wars, mostly recently in Iraq. Cheap and effective. Yet National seems to think it’s better to pay a fortune deploying the SAS to kill Taliban fighters (as if the supply of of soldiers to an insurgency was ever dried up that way) than a relative pittance buying them off.
This is the same dumb, reactionary approach that National has to crime. I guess it stems from that right-wing myth that people who do bad things do them because they are inherently evil (and their actions are, therefore unpreventable) rather than behaviour being the product of social, economic, and political context.
Instead of spending a relatively small amount on preventing crime, National would rather the crime happens and then spend a fortune punishing the offenders. Instead of giving Taliban fighters other options, National would rather spend more to kill them.