The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Gen. Mark Milley instructed reporters Wednesday that it’s “attainable” American forces will coordinate with the Taliban on operations towards the terrorist group ISIS-Ok.
Milley made the remark — providing no elaboration — throughout a Pentagon briefing alongside Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin in response to a query about what communication between US army officers and Taliban leaders in the course of the evacuation of Afghanistan meant for the connection between the 2 and “the potential for any form of coordination in counter-terrorism operations towards ISIS-Ok in Afghanistan.”
Austin responded first, saying that “we have been working with the Taliban on a really slim set of points, and it was simply that – to get as many individuals out as we probably might, and so I might not make any leaps of logic to broader points.
“It’s arduous to foretell the place this may go sooner or later with respect to the Taliban,” Austin added.
Milley initially gave the impression to be on the identical web page as Austin, calling the Taliban a “ruthless” group and saying that “whether or not or not they alter stays to be seen.”
“So far as our dealings with them at that airfield [Hamid Karzai International Airport] or prior to now yr or so, in struggle, you do what you have to as a way to scale back danger to mission and pressure, not what you essentially wish to do,” Milley added.
“Any risk of coordination towards ISIS-Ok with them?” the query got here once more.
“It’s attainable,” Milley answered after a pregnant pause earlier than Austin jumped in.
“Going ahead, I might not wish to make any predictions,” the protection secretary mentioned. “I might let you know that we’re going to do every thing that we will to ensure we stay targeted on ISIS-Ok, perceive that community, and on the time of our selecting sooner or later, maintain them accountable for what they’ve executed.”
In the course of the ultimate chaotic, tragic days of the American army’s 20-year keep in Afghanistan, officers on the Pentagon and State Division repeatedly portrayed the Taliban as an equal companion within the withdrawal that wrapped up Monday.
On Aug. 20, for instance, State Division spokesman Ned Worth insisted that the Taliban had ensured the US “they don’t have any intention of impeding our operations or of standing in the way in which of those that are searching for passage to the airport” — regardless of eyewitness studies that the Islamic fundamentalist group’s fighters have been assaulting individuals who tried to move by way of checkpoints ringing the airport.
Over the weekend, The Washington Submit reported that Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, the top of US Central Command, turned down a suggestion by the Taliban to safe Kabul — telling the group’s political chief Abdul Ghani Baradar that the American mission was solely to evacuate Americans, Afghan allies and others in danger.
The outcome was the surreal picture of Taliban fighters and US Marines working a whole lot of yards aside as hundreds of Afghans surged towards the airport gates every day. At one level, McKenzie described the Taliban’s conduct as “very pragmatic and really businesslike” in serving to to safe the power, regardless of the studies of widespread violence.
Because the conclusion of the US evacuation from Afghanistan, America’s diplomatic presence within the nation has been moved to Doha, Qatar, which has hosted the Taliban’s political management for a lot of the previous decade. President Joe Biden has famous a number of instances not too long ago that the Taliban are avowed enemies of ISIS-Ok, suggesting a shared curiosity with the US.
In remarks from the White Home Tuesday, Biden instructed the fear group — whose identify refers back to the Khorasan Province, its moniker for the territory that features Afghanistan and Pakistan — that “we aren’t executed with you but.”
With Submit wires