Ever wonder how Taliban “re-integration” in Afghanistan works?
The Stars and Stripes reports on one case, which started after a tribal elder with (an “oyster-grey beard”) paid a call on the US military at an Afghan government center.
“We would like Zareef to be released,” he said. “We do not think the military should be holding him.”
[LTC] Wilson knew the name. Coalition soldiers detained the insurgent in October after finding him with a large stash of automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
“Before we can do anything,” Wilson said, “we need you and the rest of the elders in your tribe to be willing to be accountable for him.”
They arranged to talk further the next day at Forward Operating Base Bostick, about 15 miles north of Nishigam, where the 2-27 is stationed. The man arrived with a band of elders to meet with Wilson and area commanders of the Afghan military and police.
The group reached an agreement several hours later. The insurgent was to be freed in late December, after a public ceremony in which he and the tribal elders announced their intent to work with coalition forces in defeating the Taliban.