Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Refuses To Call The Taliban The Enemy, Says ‘It’s Hard To Put A Label On’
- Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to President Joe Biden, declined to say whether the Taliban are an ‘enemy’ of America
- ‘What is the Taliban? Are they our enemy now, are they our adversary, are they our enemy? MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace asked Sullivan on Tuesday
- “Well, it’s hard to put a label on it,” Sullivan replied
- When US forces began to withdraw from Afghanistan, the Taliban overran the country in just over a week
- Representatives of the Islamist militant group warned of ‘consequences’ if US troops did not leave the country before the August 31 ‘red line’ deadline
Jake Sullivan would not classify the Taliban as an enemy of the US — or really put them under any classification — during a Tuesday interview in which the president ended the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
‘What is the Taliban? Are they our enemy now, are they our adversary, are they our enemy? Are they our – what are they?’ MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace asked Sullivan.
“Well, it’s hard to put a label on it,” said Biden’s national security adviser.
He added: “Partly because we have yet to see what they will be now that they are in control – physical control of Afghanistan.”
Earlier this month, as US forces began to withdraw from Afghanistan, the Taliban overran the country in just over a week. And after 11 days, the Islamist militant group had captured the capital, Kabul.
Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, declined to say Tuesday whether the Taliban are an ‘enemy’ of America
The group also began making public statements, stating that they were now the ruling party after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and saw little opposition to their takeover.
When President Joe Biden suggested he could extend the withdrawal deadline beyond Aug. 31 to allow the military to get all U.S. citizens out of Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman warned there would be “consequences” if the “red line” timeline was not met.
Originally, Biden aimed to have all U.S. military personnel out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the catalyst that led to the war in the first place: the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
He then moved that date to August 31, and by August 30, the last American plane took off from Afghan soil with the last American military on board.
On Tuesday, Biden made comments declaring that the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan was coming to an end and calling the withdrawal an “extraordinary success,” despite a huge response to his handling of the withdrawal.
Biden’s withdrawal led to the deaths of 13 US servicemen when an ISIS-K suicide bomber exploded his vest outside Kabul airport on Thursday — killing 11 Marines, a special army soldier and a Marine Corps man, along with dozens of Afghans trying to flee. in the Taliban takeover.
The failed withdrawal also left hundreds of US citizens behind, who now have to leave the country on their own with no military presence in Afghanistan to help.
A rebellious Biden said the mission could not have been completed in a “more orderly manner.”
He said he “respectfully disagreed” with critics who claimed he should have started the evacuation earlier to avoid the chaos.
Taliban fighters and supporters waved flags and chanted slogans in Kandahar on Tuesday to celebrate the withdrawal after the US withdrew all its troops from Afghanistan
Biden even assured that even though the State Department had contacted stranded Americans 19 times since March asking if they wanted to leave, his administration would continue to work to get Afghan allies and Americans out.
“Let me be clear. The departure on August 31 is not due to any deadline. It was designed to save American lives,” Biden said in his first public comments since the last American soldier left Hamid Karzai International Airport Monday night.
The president praised his administration’s ability to evacuate more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan in “one of the largest airlifts in history.”