Taliban per se not our enemy: Joe Biden

Biden's remarks should be seen in the context he was speaking in, says White House.


Reuters December 20, 2011

WASHINGTON: US Vice President Joe Biden, speaking this week with Newsweek, said the Taliban “per se is not our enemy”.

Biden suggested the Taliban only represented an inherent threat if it allowed al Qaeda to strike against the US. “That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens US interests,” he said.

Even after a surge in US troops in Afghanistan has pushed Taliban militants out of much of their southern stronghold, the group’s intentions regarding peace talks remain unclear.

A senior Taliban commander, speaking after US officials’ description of the peace process was published on Sunday, denied the movement was engaged in talks with the US.

“Our position on talks remains the same. All occupying forces have to leave Afghanistan. Then we can talk,” the commander told Reuters from an undisclosed location.

The Taliban might be denying taking part in initial discussions to shore up morale among fighters on the ground.

Meanwhile, a key Republican US senator warned against negotiating with the Taliban, illustrating the risk the Obama administration is taking by considering a prisoner transfer as part of a bid to end the Afghan war. US officials told Reuters a transfer of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay could be one confidence-building measure.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2011.

COMMENTS (69)

MK | 9 years ago | Reply @David Salmon: “We would have left the Taliban alone had they left us alone”. STOP playing victims and saying that Taliban started it. USA invaded more than 130 times in last 100 years. Who started those wars? You kept on knocking on devils door, only difference is that this time someone answered. SHOCKED? It is sad that civilians get caught in wars and acts like 9/11, but at least you now know how it feels when someone comes to your homeland and kill your people( It is only 2800 in 9/11 vs a few million by USA all over the world) “we will not again abandon Afghanistan” It is happening already, with plans of leaving and talking to people who you want others (including Pakistan) to fight. “It was a mistake the first time, and we will not make that mistake again, and we have said so repeatedly, including the part about the women” ARE you telling me that women are free of any discrimination now in Afghanistan. Wasn’t Malalai Joya (Woman member of Parliament) threatened murder and rape during parliament session by members of US supported Northern Alliance(although they constantly fight amongst themselves) “and next year we will be assisted by an Afghan Army of 350,000 men” Is this your attempt to be humorous? What army?, one that works for Taliban at night, is extremely incompetent and corrupt and has very little to none representation from Pashtuns who are 45% of the population and run by a president who was only elected because his rival didn’t contest final phase of elections. All his rival was asking was an independent election commission like other democracies and not under command of a sitting president who is contesting himself again, and after first round was full of vote rigging. All that has happened is that one corrupt regime is replaced by another corrupt one, just that this one is US allies. USA is doing all this because it can do it. Has enough power to do that. I give you that. BUT STOP playing victims and pretending there is any moral reasoning behind this and you have good intentions and care about people of Afghanistan.
Hassan Bin Fahim | 9 years ago | Reply

So when is Joe Biden joining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ? IK was right all along ...

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