The Part-Time Taliban

The Taliban insurgents find it extremely easy to recruit unemployed impecunious young Afghans as part-time fighters.

In a country where average income rate is less than $50 per month, Taliban's high-paid job offer is hard to deny. Also, it is flexible and could be done in various shifts. This means the newly recruits do not need to have a permanent membership of the infamous group. Taliban's pliable vacancy makes it easier for the struggling men to work according to their own schedules. They can 'work' for a few hours per week and go back to their daily chores just like any other citizen. These few hours of 'work' could earn them from $100 to $500 and more. All these young men need to do is kill some government or foreign troops and personnel.

Placing land mines, kidnapping people, burning infrastructures and engaging in an hour or two clashes with bungling and inept Afghan police is highly risky but not a hard job for Afghans who have grown up with guns and bullets. So, almost every young Afghan could fulfill the requirements.

Reports suggest that more than 75% of the Taliban fighters are unemployed young men just looking for a way to make some money and feed their families. It is clear that most of insurgents are in Taliban's lines for money, not ideology.

It is difficult to recognize these part-timers as they have no weapons that prove them insurgents. They are only armed while they are fighting. After that hour of battle they are just normal people of their villages. To keep them undercover, Taliban deploy the young men outside their districts to avoid the possibility that they might be recognized by local residents.

In order to tackle the issue, the Afghan Government and the international community should immediately start working on providing jobs to young Afghans otherwise security and development will remain a dream.