Clinton Backs Taliban Negotiations

Hillary Clinton will lend her support to a $500 million initiative by NATO and Afghan officials seeking to negotiate with Taliban insurgents, it was revealed at this week's London conference. "The starting premise is you don't make peace with your friends," said Clinton. "You have to be willing to engage with your enemies if you want to create a situation that ends the insurgency." Funding for the plan would come from the Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund, which has been termed by many the Taliban Trust Fund. Clinton continued, "As important as our military mission is, we know that force alone cannot achieve our goals," pointing to the success of similar efforts aimed at Iraqi insurgents. Not all members of the international community are as enthusiastic about the prospect of negotiating with Taliban members. "As a woman, it was a big concern. Which Taliban would they invite?" asked the head of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center, citing the Taliban's notorious violence against women. "It is of course a prerequisite that those people engaged in this reconciliation and reintegration process will accept the Afghan constitution and basic democratic principles," said NATO's chief.