There are unconfirmed reports floating around which suggest the Italian government paid off the Taliban in order to keep things quiet while there were Italian troops in the area. The stories suggest Aghan war lords and the Taliban were given large sums of money in order to prevent Italian soldiers from being killed while they did their time in Afghanistan. The result was the area gained the reputation of being quiet and that soldiers did not have to worry about being attacked. French troops who took over the area were shocked when a patrol was attacked and ten of them killed. The Berlusconi government vigorously denies any such payment of money and charges the story is a smear job to defame the reputation of Italian soldiers.
Actually, it really is not important whether the story is true or false, but it does raise an interesting possibility. Suppose there were regular payments to Afghan war lords, would they hold off on attacking enemy troops? Is it possible to use old fashioned bribery to keep the Taliban quiet? If some form of protection money was the solution, it would reduce the cost of the war and certainly would save lives.
Anyone for paying off the enemy in cash rather than lives?