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Divide and conquer

Normal Street in Afghanistan
Normal Street in Afghanistan
AP Photo

The Taliban fighting the United States military today isn’t the same united group after September 11th. It is rather a mixture of Islamic religious fanatics and Afghans involved in the Opium trade.

They should play an important role in helping to redefine the enemy and the war in Afghanistan to the American people. They should be given the choice to decide whether the changes still justify a continued occupation.

This also made me think, are we really fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan? If the enemy is made of extremists and drug lords, wouldn’t it be best to adopt a strategy of divide and conquer with the enemy?

President Obama would be wise to offer one of the two sides of this “Taliban” an incentive to not fight the United States. In this case, it would be the drug lords. Offer the promise that the United States military will not stop the spraying of the fields, but also stop the interdiction as well. It would also be smart for Obama to remind them about the previous history the Taliban had of banning the trade in the country before 9/11.

The Spanish Conquistadores in the early 1500’s used the strategy of divide and conquer to take over the New World. They made alliances with indigenous tribes that were victims to either the Incas or the Aztecs. This is how a small band of just hundreds of Spanish soldiers were able to defeat armies of tens of thousands.