The U.S. Department of Defense does not consider Afghan Taliban as terrorists anymore. In fact, Afghan Taliban are considered as catalysts to peace in the Pak-Afghan region. Department of Defense said that U.S. was no longer conducting counter-terrorism operations against the Afghan Taliban because the group is considered an important and key partner in attaining peace in Afghanistan. The statement comes directly from Pentagon during a news briefing on Wednesday. If the U.S. is no longer acting against Afghan Taliban, then why did Obama decide to leave U.S. military in Afghanistan? That would be to fight Islamic State (IS) elements. During a news briefing, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said,
What we’re not doing (is) counter-terrorism operations against the Taliban. We actually view the Taliban as being an important partner in a peaceful Afghan-led reconciliation process. We are not actively targeting the Taliban.
This is not the first time U.S. unbranded Taliban as terrorists, an examples of which can be viewed here. But this particularly surprising revelation was not the focus of the briefing at all; it was to discuss US’ efforts to defeat Middle Eastern terrorist group by the name IS or Islamic State, which according to Davis has minute presence in the Pak-Afghan region as well, and hence the reason behind leaving U.S. military in Afghanistan till 2017. Captain Davis, whilst explaining the ‘minute presence’ said that there were lone wolves in the Pak-Afghan region using IS as a brand. President Obama decided to leave thousands of military personnel to fight off said lone wolves apparently now that Taliban are not considered terrorists. However, when Kunduz, a major Afghan city, was conquered by these very Taliban, troops were mobilized to get it back.
In other news, Captain Davis said that work is being pursued actively with the Pakistani government to fight against all terrorists, of which Afghan Taliban or Taliban in general should not be a part of. He further explained the idea behind the Coalition Support Fund, which is aimed at helping Pakistan fight terrorist networks including Haqqani. Moreover, it is also meant to further development on counter-terrorism capabilities. Commenting on the role of U.S. military within Afghanistan, Captain Davis said it was present in an advisory and assistance capacity alone. Hard to see why a military force of such size, only present in an advisory and assistance capacity, would be flying an F-16 in a Taliban-held region of Afghanistan. An F-16 that sustained serious damage from an attack by the very Taliban that are now considered an important partner. Finally, Captain Davis maintained that U.S. will conduct counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda in the region adding, “But IS would be fair game as well.”You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.