A Position of Strength
The Taliban may join Afghanistan’s political system at some point in future but they would like to do so from a position of strength.
Taliban will play a key role in future The political developments in Afghanistan.
As the United States has pulled out most of its security forces personnel from Afghanistan without fully restoring stability and order to the country, it has started taking a new look at the political and security dynamics there in the post-withdrawal period. The White House spokesman did not label the Afghan Taliban as ‘terrorists’ and instead called the movement an ‘armed insurgency’. This is of extreme significance.
According to White House spokesman Eric Schultz, there is a distinction between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is a terrorist organization and Afghan Taliban, which is an armed insurgency. In reply to a question regarding Jordanian plans to swap ISIS prisoners with hostages held by the ISIS, Shultz said, “The Taliban is an armed insurgency, ISIL is a terrorist group. We don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.”
However, when reminded by a reporter of a similar prisoner swap by Washington with Afghanistan’s Taliban last year, releasing several Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for the freedom of US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held by the Taliban as a prisoner since 2009, Shultz said the situation was different because Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a terrorist group while “in the administration’s thinking” the Taliban were not.
The statement clarified US policy regarding the Afghan Taliban. However, the thinking community in the US and in several of her allied countries has expressed surprise over this stand by Washington. The fact of the matter is that the new policy statement about the Taliban reflected the realism prevailing in the American policy circles. The Afghan Taliban insurgency could not be decisively defeated by the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military alliance and even after 13 years of continuous fighting, it is quite strong in many areas of Afghanistan.
As the international coalition forces had dislodged the Afghan Taliban regime way back in 2001, soon after the September 9/11 attacks on the US mainland owned by the