Top Biden adviser refuses to say whether Taliban is an enemy of the US: ‘Hard to put a label on it’
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Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to President Joe Biden, refused to say Tuesday whether the Biden administration views the Taliban as an enemy of the United States.
Technically, the Taliban group that now controls Afghanistan is not a designated terrorist organization. The Taliban group that operates in Pakistan, however, is a designated terrorist group.
What did Sullivan say?
During an interview on MSNBC, network host Nicolle Wallace asked Sullivan about the U.S. government’s posture toward the Taliban.
“Are they are frenemy? Are they our adversary? Are they our enemy? Are they — what are they?” Wallace asked.
Despite decades of witnessing barbaric rule by Taliban leaders and fighters, Sullivan responded by saying the Biden administration would not place a “label” on the Taliban because they don’t yet know, allegedly, how the Taliban will rule Afghanistan (this time around).
“Well, it’s hard to put a label on it, in part because we have yet to see what they are going to be now that they are in control, physical control of Afghanistan,” Sullivan said.
“They will, in the coming days, announce a government,” he continued. “That government is gonna go around seeking diplomatic engagement, even recognition from other countries, including the United States. In fact, the Taliban spokesman today said he was looking for positive relations on behalf of the Taliban, especially with the United States.”
“We’re not just going to grant positive relations to the Taliban; they are going to have to earn everything from the international community through actions — not words,” Sullivan claimed. “That begins with safe passage for Americans and Afghan allies, and that also includes them living up to their counterterrorism commitments, including that Afghanistan can never again be used as a base from which to attack the United States or our allies again.”
The Taliban have claimed they are “reformed,” that Afghanistan will be “inclusive” under their control, and that everyone in the country, including those who worked with Americans, has been granted “forgiveness” and “amnesty.”
But out of the other side of their mouths, the Taliban have said they will rule according to a strict interpretation of Sharia law. Indeed, there have been numerous reports already of extrajudicial killings and the hunting down of Afghans who worked with Western military forces.
Not only is the Biden administration refusing to a place a “label” on the Taliban, Sullivan explained in an interview on “Good Morning America” Tuesday that the Biden administration is planning to send taxpayer-funded aid to Afghanistan.
“We do believe there is an important dimension of humanitarian assistance that should go directly to the people of Afghanistan,” Sullivan said.
“When it comes to our economic and development assistance relationship with the Taliban, that will be about the Taliban’s actions. It will be about whether they follow through on their commitments, their commitments to safe passage for Americans and its allies,” he qualified.
White House to send more than $300 million in aid to Afghanistan despite Taliban control
The White House announced plans Tuesday to send more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan as millions face starvation under the new Taliban government following President Joe Biden’s withdrawal.
The assistance would be given by the United States Agency for International Development through “independent humanitarian organizations” to the Afghan people, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.
The administration has been criticized for sending aid to Afghanistan previously. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned that it would be “foolish” and asserted that the Taliban “would take the money.”
“This brings total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $782 million since October 2021, and we remain the single largest donor of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan,” Horne said, adding that the U.S. has also given 4.3 million COVID-19 doses to the Afghan people.
Assistance will “help provide lifesaving protection and shelter, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by COVID-19 and healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the winter season,” Horne said.
China sent assistance to Afghanistan last month to help the nation prepare for winter and build ties between the Chinese Communist Party and the new jihadist government.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people and we continue to consider all options available to us,” Horne concluded. “We stand with the people of Afghanistan.”
ARTICLE: Fort Hood soldier found dead behind barracks
The soldier was identified as Spc. Maxwell Hockin, who was assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He entered the Army in March 2017 as a combat engineer, Fort Hood officials said Wednesday.
Hockin’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, officials said.
Hockin had been at the Texas base since July 2017, where he was assigned to the 91st Engineer Battalion.
“The entire Saber family is devastated by the loss of our true teammate and friend Specialist Maxwell Hockin,” Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander, 91st Engineer Battalion, said in a statement Wednesday. “He had an outstanding work ethic, was a mentor to his peers, and was always willing to help out the team. He will truly be missed. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Maxwell’s family during this difficult time.”
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