The government of Afghanistan announced yesterday that it has entered into a unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban. Gen. John Nicholson, who oversees the US-led war effort, claimed it was a “bold initiative for peace.” But the thinking behind the ceasefire is confused.
One of the leaders “planned” the March 2015 Bardo Museum attack in Tunis, which was claimed by the Islamic State. Another serves as Shabaab’s deputy emir.
The CIA is releasing hundreds of thousands of documents, images, and computer files recovered during the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The newly-available material provides invaluable insights into the terrorist organization that struck America on September 11, 2001.
US Africa Command launched airstrikes against the Islamic State in Libya for the first time in eight months. AFRICOM also revealed to FDD’s Long War Journal that an estimated 800 to 900 Islamic State fighters were killed during Operation Odyssey Lightning’s air campaign in Sirte last year.
A complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan would have been disastrous. The US government needs to drastically reassess America’s jihadist enemies and avoid the policy pitfalls of the past.
The Taliban has released an “open letter” to President Trump urging him to “adopt the strategy of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan instead of a troops increase.” The propaganda letter contains several erroneous or misleading claims. It is also disingenuous with respect to the jihadist threat emanating out of Afghanistan.
The State Department’s newly released Country Reports on Terrorism says that Pakistan “did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban,” including the Haqqani Network, in 2016. The Taliban’s leadership has long had a presence in Pakistan.
The Taliban has issued a second statement denying any responsibility for the May 31 bombing in Kabul. Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) has accused the Haqqani Network and Pakistan of orchestrating the attack. The Taliban claims the NDS is lying and defends the Haqqanis, once again affirming their key role in the organization.