The Washington Times - March 11, 2009, 06:43PM

Moderate members of the Taliban can be wooed over through persuasive means such as “bribery” or “coercion,” according to Said Jawad, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States.

Jawad said members of the Taliban can be divided into three main ideological groups: fundamentalists who will never be persuaded to give up their violent extremism; young and impressionable “paycheck Talbian” members who join because they lack a job or societal opportunities; and mid-level militias who are recruited by drug traffickers or unhappy about military operations by the United States and NATO.

During a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School, Jawad said members of the “paycheck Taliban” need no persuasion—they just need employment and hope. The mid-level militia members, the ambassador said, are a key bloc of Afghanis that can and should be won over to the side of human rights and national stability.

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“This group can be reconciled,” Jawad said. “Through diolague, through buying off, through bribery, through coercion, we can bring them over.”

Jawad praised President Barack Obama’s recent decision to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan to combat a surge in volence and deteriorating security along the Pakistan border.

At a recent NATO summit, Vice President Joe Biden offered similar sentiments about the need to offer financial incentives to entice much as 70 percent of Taliban members to lay down their arms.

Amb. Said T. Jawad