Afghanistan is a Muslim country. The Taliban will always be preferrred by those who share their faith, as against Infidels, save in those parts of the country where the ethnic identity - Tadjik, Uzbek, Hazara -- works against the Pashtun Taliban.
And in any case, the more aid the West pours in, the more corrupt the Karzai (or another other Afghan) administration. And the more corrupt the administration, the more disaffection leads to support for the Taliban.
If, on the other hand, no Western aid comes in, there will be no way to be corrupt. True, the Taliban will be a threat, but so what? They will be a threat to other Afghans, who either will or will not fight back. It is likely that the Uzbeks and Tadjiks and Hazara will do so. Let them -- they don't need an "Afghan army" created and paid for by the West to fight the Taliban. Their current weaponry, already upgraded at fantastic expense for the Americans, will do nicely.
And should the Taliban somehow threaten the West -- but how? how can the Taliban now threaten the West, which will with drones and satellites be monitoring Afghanistan -- then the occasional punitive raid from outside can keep them permanently off balance. And hundreds of billions of dollars will be saved.
Bonn, Germany (CNN) -- The Taliban could make a comeback and take over Afghanistan again, the country's President Hamid Karzai warned Monday at an international conference on Afghanistan's future.
"If we lose this fight, we are threatened with a return to a situation like that before Sept 11, 2001," Karzai said.
There has been progress in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in the wake of the hijacked plane attacks on the United States, he said.
But, he warned, "Our shared goal of a stable, self-reliant Afghanistan is far from being achieved."
Karzai is chairing a meeting in Bonn, Germany, which hosted a similar summit 10 years ago, after the fall of the Taliban government of Afghanistan.
He asked NATO to remain committed to Afghanistan after the pullout of foreign combat troops in 2014.
"Your continued solidarity, your commitment and support will be crucial so that we can consolidate our gains and continue to address the challenges that remain," he said.
"We will need your steadfast support for at least another decade," Karzai said. "We will need training for our own troops. We will need equipment for the army and police and help to set up state institutions."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed that the United States was "prepared to stand with the Afghan people for the long haul."
She warned that the international community has "much to lose if the country again becomes a source of terrorism and instability."
Clinton expressed concern that Pakistan had not sent a representative to Bonn, saying it was "imperative" that all of Afghanistan's neighbors support the reconciliation process with the Taliban and other insurgents.
"We could, of course, have benefited from Pakistan's contribution to this conference," she said.
She said the entire international community had responsibilities to shore up Afghanistan, including the Afghans themselves, who have "more work to do to strengthen their democratic institutions."
She acknowledged that this is a difficult time to be asking for more money for Afghanistan, saying: "Many countries here in this hall understand that the international community faces new fiscal constraints."
But she announced the United States will join other partners in resuming financial disbursements to the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund, after suspending them when the IMF halted its own programs over concerns about it. The fund is administered by the World Bank.
Iran, meanwhile, used the conference to speak out against troops from the United States and other Western nations keeping any kind of long-term military presence in Afghanistan.
"Certain Western countries seek to extend their military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 by maintaining their military bases there. We deem such an approach to be contradictory to efforts to sustain stability and security in Afghanistan," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said.
"We believe that any international or regional initiative to restore peace and security in Afghanistan could only be successful if they discard the presence of foreign military forces and especially ... the founding of foreign military bases in Afghanistan."
The original Bonn conference in 2001 consisted of U.N. representatives facilitating the meeting of a group of Afghan exiles and leaders.
But this time, members of 85 delegations from various countries and 15 international organizations are joining Afghans in the discussions.
Their goal is to take stock of accomplishments and assess continued challenges in Afghanistan over the past decade, as well as to plot a partnership with the Kabul government amid plans to withdraw all foreign combat troops from the country by 2014.
In recent years, Afghanistan's economy has grown, albeit it at a slow rate.
Despite reported corruption, Afghanistan has moved away from the repressive extremist rule of the Taliban and toward a more democratic political system, in which Afghans vote for their leaders.
And the status of women -- strictly controlled under the Taliban -- has improved with a constitutional commitment guaranteeing equality, and 3 million girls are now in school.