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‘Charlie Wilson’s Playbook’: Lawmaker Pushes Biden to Back Anti-Taliban Resistance

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26.08.2021

What happens to the country and its people after the forever war ends?

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The Biden administration is facing pressure from Congress to begin supporting Afghan resistance groups as the clock runs out on the massive U.S.-led evacuation effort from the Taliban-controlled country. Some lawmakers who have converted their offices into miniature operations centers to help get Americans and Afghan allies onto flights out of Afghanistan are now looking for ways to extend lifelines to pockets of anti-Taliban resistance groups that include remnants of the Afghan National Security Forces.

Rep. Mike Waltz, a Florida Republican and former Green Beret who has spoken with anti-Taliban leaders, said he is looking for ways to give the U.S. administration the legal authority to support the emerging anti-Taliban resistance—even if U.S. President Joe Biden is looking to wash his hands of the 20-year war.

The Biden administration is facing pressure from Congress to begin supporting Afghan resistance groups as the clock runs out on the massive U.S.-led evacuation effort from the Taliban-controlled country. Some lawmakers who have converted their offices into miniature operations centers to help get Americans and Afghan allies onto flights out of Afghanistan are now looking for ways to extend lifelines to pockets of anti-Taliban resistance groups that include remnants of the Afghan National Security Forces.

Rep. Mike Waltz, a Florida Republican and former Green Beret who has spoken with anti-Taliban leaders, said he is looking for ways to give the U.S. administration the legal authority to support the emerging anti-Taliban resistance—even if U.S. President Joe Biden is looking to wash his hands of the 20-year war.

“Look, we’re going to take a play out of Charlie Wilson’s playbook,” Waltz said. “We’re going to lead and drive this from Congress if the White House and the administration refuses to.” Waltz was referring to a former Texas congressman who played an instrumental role in funding a covert CIA program to supply Afghan mujahideen, who fought Soviet forces during the 1979 to 1989 Soviet-Afghan war.

It’s unclear if these efforts will gain traction on Capitol Hill or elsewhere in Washington. Defense Department Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters this week that money the Pentagon had budgeted to fund the Afghan military is now being held up. The Senate Armed Services Committee is “carefully considering” how to handle previously authorized funding for the Afghan security forces and government, said Cole Stevens, a spokesperson for Senate Armed Services Committee chairperson Jack Reed, stressing none of the money would go to the Taliban. Advocates for the Taliban resistance face a war-weary administration and public not eager to expend more U.S. treasure in........

© Foreign Policy


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