Do 'exit programs' for Islamists actually work?
It sounds like a promising idea: Instead of confronting the Taliban on the battlefield, why not pay them to give up violence? But such programs have been tried before, and they have one major disadvantage: They tend only to work when the insurgents are already losing.
Germany wants to contribute €50 million to the Taliban “exit” program in Afghanistan. The idea is to undercut support for the insurgency by helping individual Taliban leave their group, de-radicalize and re-integrate into Afghan society. Sounds like a great plan, but how do these programs actually work?