On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said he’s unsure about whether the U.S. will deliver on Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s vow to hold the Taliban to its counterterrorism promises, and that he doesn’t have high expectations of the Taliban, especially since the group has named members of the Haqqani Network terrorist group to their leadership.
After listening to Blinken saying that the Taliban has a commitment to keeping Afghanistan from becoming a terror base and the U.S. will hold the Taliban to that commitment, Menendez said that he does think the U.S. can conduct effective counterterrorism in Afghanistan without soldiers in the country.
He added, “Holding the Taliban accountable, look, the Trump administration basically signed a surrender agreement with the Taliban, gave them everything, held them to nothing, gave 5,000 Taliban fighters that were in jail — had them released, which only augmented the Taliban’s ability to move as swiftly as it did with extra manpower. And, at the end of the day, got nothing in return, including trying to negotiate with the Afghan government to see if there was a peaceful way forward. So, I don’t know about holding the Taliban accountable. I don’t expect much from them, especially when they named three of their leadership from the Haqqani Network, which is on the foreign terrorist organization list of our country.”
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