In a highly controversial move, the United States provides the names of thousands of its Afghan allies to the Taliban to allegedly pave the way for their evacuation from the country.
Reporting on Thursday, Politico covered the outspoken criticism that the move has attracted given the militant group’s “history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the US and other coalition forces.”
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one US military official, who asked not to be named.
The Taliban renewed their rule over Afghanistan earlier in August after taking the capital Kabul.
The development came after a months-long offensive by the militants that was helped by a decision announced by the United States in April to take all of its military forces out of Afghanistan.
The US has, however, been holding a questionably tight grip over the Kabul International Airport. It has, at the same time, been relying on the militants for security outside the airport.
In written and verbal communications, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, has referred to the Taliban as “our Afghan partners,” Politico cited two military officials as saying of Washington’s relationship with the group in the aftermath of its resurgence.
Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, head of US forces on the ground in Afghanistan, has also echoed McKenzie’s position.
The first official, who was interviewed with Politico, nevertheless, went on to roundly reject Washington’s decision to identify the evacuees to the group.
“It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
“Absolutely reckless and horrific," Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn also tweeted about the decision. "The [US President Joe] Biden Administration gave the Taliban a kill list while lying to us, saying they didn’t have details on every name and whereabouts. Every single person involved must resign or be impeached,” she said.
Another American official defended the decision, though, by saying, “They had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport.”