One of the major problems that the United States military faces in Afghanistan is poverty. It makes for a fertile recruiting ground for the Taliban or al-Qaida.

So any effort to employ Afghans will take away the enemies' ability to recruit young people to their cause. That's the thinking of the U.S. military operations commander in Afghanistan, according to an Associated Press story.

"I'd rather have an Afghan national working on a road or helping build a clinic than getting three to five bucks or whatever the Taliban or al-Qaida-associated movement pays him to plant an IED," Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya said. "We are hiring as many Afghans as we can."

In the past nine months, the military has employed 15,000 Afghans on projects that have cost about $80 million. They are being hired to rebuild schools, roads and medical clinics. By employing them, they take ownership in the projects.

The strategy is seasonal, too. Officials want to employ as many Afghans as possible in the weeks leading up to the Sept. 18 legislative elections and prepare them over the winter months. In the spring, when mountain passes thaw, insurgents become more active.

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