Despite President Obama’s recent attempts to negotiate with the Taliban, leading members of the Senate foreign affairs committees strongly believe terrorists affiliated with the Taliban are still a threat.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), fresh off a tour of Afghanistan, said on Fox News Sunday that the Taliban continues to be a threat to Afghanistan and the Middle East.
“The Taliban has a shadowy presence with shadowy governors and controlled a third of the land which people live on and expanded in the north and northeast,” said Feinstein, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Intelligence. “While we were there in one province they closed 14 schools in 17 districts and then they killed five education officials and wounded others, and now the latest assassination of someone who was a leader in the peace council.”
Yesterday, Arsala Rahmani – a former member of the Taliban and a top member of the Afghan peace council – was assassinated in Kabul. The Taliban has denied that it was responsible for the killing, however, authorities believe the terrorist group was most likely responsible for the murder.
Feinstein’s conclusions from her trip were cause for alarm.
“What this does is demonstrate that the Taliban are just waiting to come back, I don’t think that they can be dispensed with.”
Senator Lieberman (I-Conn.), a member of the Senate Comittee on Homeland Security and Goverment Affairs, made similar comments on CNN’s State of the Union.
“They’re not interested in genuine peace talks,” Lieberman said. “It’s obvious they don’t want peace right now, and until we continue and unless we continue to put the pressure on the Taliban they will never come to the table and have genuine peace negotiations.”
Lieberman went on to say, “I think the important message here is to the policy makers right up to the President about the pace of withdrawals of our forces from Afghanistan . . . I think General Allen has made it clear he wanted to leave 68,000 there through the end of the fighting season in Afghanistan… I sure hope the President as Commander in Chief supports General Allen because I think it’s the right one and the murder in Kabul makes that very clear.”
Feinstein and Lieberman’s comments are a stark contract to President’ Obama’s attitude toward the terrorist network.
During President Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, he said he was attempting to engage in peace talks with the Taliban. Immediately after his visit the Taliban responded with a suicide bombing. Feinstein and Lieberman’s comments today are further proof that members of the Taliban are not cooperating and have no interest in peace in the region.