British foreign secretary David Miliband called for a new policy in Afghanistan based on the old concept of divide and rule. He wants to reach out to Taliban militants who are not guided by an Islamic militancy and attempt to reintegrate them within Afghan society. He believes the “vast majority” of Taliban fighters are more drawn by tribal or local concerns than by an Islamic militancy and they could be persuaded to give up arms and become part of an Afghan society in which less than 5% of the population really wants the return to power of the Taliban. Of course, his entire premise is based on the ability of President Karzai to be accepted by these Taliban militants as an acceptable alternative to Taliban leaders. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no evidence Karzai is respected by the vast majority of Afghans and that he has the prestige to draw people together in a new alliance.
Step one in any divide and conquer strategy is creating a new alliance of tribal leaders who would serve as the temporary government of Afghanistan until such time as a more permanent government organization could be created.