According to a new report by the State Department, the Afghan Taliban and its Haqqani Network are still “operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.” Pakistan has assisted the US in counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda. However, by refusing to move against the Taliban, including the Haqqanis, Pakistan is harboring al Qaeda’s most important allies in the region.
The Trump administration is desperately trying to negotiate with the Taliban’s senior leadership. The Obama administration did as well, with the effort ending in a diplomatic fiasco.
Al Qaeda has released a new message from its emir, Ayman al Zawahiri, who argues that the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a core part of a new, imagined caliphate.