The United States and Britain are mulling a plan to buy off Taliban fighters in Afghanistan with as much as $1 billion over five years, according to a report Wednesday from Al-Jazeera.
Coalition partners plan to meet Thursday in London to discuss the stragety of the U.S.-led NATO effort in Afghanistan, where a roused insurgency has complicated efforts to forge a lasting peace.
According to Al-Jazeera, which reported that the U.S. and Britain were leading the charge for the buyoff plan, "the scheme would offer cash, jobs and other incentives to the Taliban and fighters in other armed groups," including community development projects in the fighters' villages, and could cost from $500 million to $1 billion over five years.
The goal would be to woo the less-radicalized of the Taliban back to the good side by offering to help alleviate their poverty, thus chipping away at the insurgency's ranks.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is skipping tonight's State of the Union address in Washington, is in London for the talks.