President Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan will have consequences. The Taliban and al Qaeda will declare victory, while the US will find it harder to hunt terrorists throughout the region.
The Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and Pakistani military have all honored Maulana Sami ul-Haq, a influential and radical cleric who was stabbed to death. Haq’s madrassa has been a breeding ground for the Taliban and other jihadist groups in the region.
Jalaluddin Haqqani is dead. The terror network he created lives on.
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.