Yes, you read that headline correctly. As we approach the one year anniversary of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan it seems as though the United States government is once again playing musical chairs with whom it considers friend or foe. At least this appears to be the case due to a recent article published by AntiWar.com, in which a yet to be named spokesman for the US State Department asserted that the US “does not support organized violent opposition to the Taliban” rule in Afghanistan.
First reported by The Foreign Desk, the statement comes as resistance fighters claim victory over Taliban forces in the Baghlan Province as conflict in the region continues.
After a two day skirmish between Taliban fighters and Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front (NRF) which resulted in heavy Taliban losses and the NRF taking control of Baghlan province’s easternmost district of Khost wa Fereng, in northern Afghanistan, the resistance fighters took to social media to celebrate their victory.
Speaking to The Foreign Desk, the State Department spokesperson said ―
“We are monitoring the recent uptick in violence closely and call on all sides to exercise restraint and to engage. This is the only way that Afghanistan can confront its many challenges,”
Continuing on, emphasis our own,
“We want to see the emergence of stable and sustainable political dispensation via peaceful means. We do not support organized violent opposition to the Taliban, and we would discourage other powers from doing so as well,”
Although this position has not yet been publicly acknowledged outside of this interview with The Foreign Desk, as the piece from Anti War notes this is an awkward position for the administration to be in. Considering the last few decades spent vilifying the Taliban as the epitome of evil and the ultimate adversary.
Although also as noted, prior to the 2001 invasion the Bush administration was actually allied with the Taliban, considering them a partner in the war on drugs.