Trump administration reportedly wanted to use taxpayer dollars to repay the Taliban for their travel to peace talks


FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2015 file photo, Afghan Taliban fighters listen to Mullah Mohammed Rasool, the newly-elected leader of a breakaway faction of the Taliban, in Farah province, Afghanistan. Afghanistan may not be ready for peace unless it formulates a strategy for re-integration of Taliban fighters into society, combating corruption and reining in the country's runaway narcotics problem, a U.S. watchdog said Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo, File)

The Department of Defense asked Congress for approval to use taxpayer dollars to reimburse the Taliban for travel expenses incurred attending peace talks with the US, Roll Call reported, citing a congressional official.
Congress has reportedly not given the Pentagon approval to do so, as it would mean providing material support to a terrorist organization.
The Taliban rakes an estimated $800 million a year selling narcotics and from other illicit activities.
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The Trump administration asked Congress for funds to reimburse the Taliban for travel expenses incurred attending peace talks in Doha, Qatar, Roll Call reported Wednesday, citing a US official.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense requested funding for fiscal year 2020 to “support certain reconciliation activities, including logistic support for members of the Taliban,” Kevin Spicer, a spokesman for Rep. Peter Visclosky, an Indiana Democrat and chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, told Roll Call.

The Pentagon reportedly also sent a letter to Congress asking to use funds from the previous year for similar activities.

The big problem with this request is that it “would implicate provisions of law concerning material support to terrorists, the Taliban’s ongoing offensive operations against U.S. service members, and their continuing lack of acknowledgement of the government of Afghanistan or the rights of women in Afghan society,” Spicer said.

Adding to the absurdity is the fact that the Taliban generates roughly $800 million a year from narcotics trafficking and other malign activities. Those funds have been used to support violent extremism, as well as operations against the US military and Afghan security forces. Those funds could be used to cover any logistical costs.

The US military has been waging war against the Taliban for nearly 18 years, making the war in Afghanistan America’s longest armed conflict. With no end in …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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