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house Bill H. Con. Res. 13

Should the Taliban be Officially Labeled a "Terrorist Organization"?

Argument in favor

The Taliban is full of ruthless killers who harbored Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden They are the epitome of a terrorist organization, and its about time the U.S. called them what they are.

DonaldTrump's Opinion
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10/16/2015
"We got Bergdahl, they get five leaders — killers — that want to kill us all." [breitbart.com]
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EricRevell's Opinion
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05/22/2015
It takes some Olympian-esque rhetorical gymnastics to try and dance around calling the Taliban a terrorist organization.
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10/24/2015
The Federal Bureau of Investigation states that any organization that involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., is a Terrorist Organization. As a Combat Veteran of Operation: Enduring Freedom, let me share with you my opinion on if the Taliban is a Terrorist Organization as is outlined in accordance by the FBI. Does the Taliban involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life? Yes they do. For the 12 months we were deployed to Afghanistan, we were witness firsthand to the atrocities that members of the Taliban committed against the very people we were there to help. Not only was our war a war to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, but we were also fighting to save their lives from being taken by the Taliban. Any time that anyone came to us for help, regardless of the reason, or any time anyone was seen speaking to an American Soldier, they were identified as a supporter of the United States, a crime punishable by death. Did the Taliban intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of the Afghan Government through intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of the Afghan Government? Yes they did. The more time we tried building up the Afghan National Army, or the Afghan Uniformed Police, the harder they fought to destroy what we were trying to accomplish. When they knew they couldn’t best us in a firefight, they attacked the very same bodies we were sacrificing to build up empower. Our efforts were countered by their efforts, and it was just a constant back and forth that never ended with a clear winner. Well, I suppose you could say they won since all they had to do was wait us out, and they did. The last qualifier the FBI has laid out to determine if an organization is a Terrorist Organization or not, is does the organization operate outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. With the answer to this question being a resounding yes. The Taliban owns Afghanistan. They come and go as they please, their freedom of movement is unrestricted. The Taliban wields more power and influence in Afghanistan than anyone else. For our 12 months fighting the Taliban, the day we finished deconstructing our Combat Outpost and left our Area of Operations to the ANA + AUP, the Taliban moved in, took up our old fighting positions, and started punishing the people who they suspected of working with us. Lastly, we lost seven Soldiers during our time there. Seven Soldiers from just my Company alone, this is not taking into account the other killed or wounded from throughout the rest of the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). Based on my observations, my experiences, the losses I suffered as an Officer to my Soldiers, and the disabilities I will live the rest of my life because of all this, do I believe the Taliban is a Terrorist Organization? Absolutely I do. There is no doubt they are. The Taliban is willing to go to any lengths to be successful in their endeavors. They will not stop, they will not cede, and these reasons I have outlined here, is the reason why I voted “Yea"
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Argument opposed

This is an attempt to undermine peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. If those negotiations fail, the country will fall back into chaos and the U.S. may need to re-intervene.

wpeckham's Opinion
···
08/25/2015
To the question of should they be designated terrorists, the answer is clearly yes. To the question of the Congress determine this instead of the President or the Secretary of State, the answer is clearly no.
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James's Opinion
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08/28/2015
To those who have disagreed with me I would like to point out that the Taliban see themselves and are Afghans. Their war efforts are towards what they consider insurgents, us. Unless there is a negotiated peace between the Taliban and the elected government there will be U.S. Armed forces in Afghanistan as there are in South Korea for the next twenty years. There are two many knee jerk reactions to what is a terrorist. The Taliban unlike the Islamic State is not sponsoring state terrorism outside of their war activities within what is in their opinion their country. I am quite sure the new government of Afghanistan is trying to have negotiations with the new leadership of the Taliban, and if anyone thinks we're not a party to it, well then I would be inclined to say that naïveté does nothing to end conflict.
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Jared's Opinion
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03/29/2016
The Taliban, while a major thorn in our side and a cause for a lot of deaths from Afghani to American, deciding just now to declare them as a terrorist organization will do nothing but hamper attempts for peace talks between the US preferred government in Afghanistan and the Taliban. Afghanistan has been wrought with war for a decade and then some and it's time that peace talks be taken seriously.
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What is House Bill H. Con. Res. 13?

This resolution calls for the State Department and the Administration to officially recognize the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization.

The bill requests that the Secretary of State impose any and all applicable restrictions and sanctions on the Taliban after designating them as a foreign terrorist organization.

Impact

The U.S. government, diplomatic relations with Afghanistan, people in the U.S. with ties to the Taliban, the State Dept., and Secretary of State.

Cost of House Bill H. Con. Res. 13

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: In June 2014, former Press Secretary Jay Carney said the White House “regard(s) the Taliban as an enemy combatant” but stopped short of calling it a terrorist group. Shortly thereafter, the National Security Council pointed out that the Taliban is on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, but not the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations — though both trigger asset freezes.

In October 2015, when announcing that he will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of 2016, President Barack Obama did say: 

“By now it should be clear to the Taliban and all who oppose Afghanistan’s progress, the only real way to achieve the full drawdown of U.S. and foreign troops from Afghanistan is through a lasting political settlement with the Afghan government, and likewise sanctuaries for the Taliban and other terrorists must end."

Of Note: Trying to clarify distinctions surrounding whether to publicly call the Taliban a terrorist organization may seem like nitpicking the finer points of U.S. foreign policy — but it does have broader implications.

The issue of the Taliban’s classification was a significant aspect of the Obama Administration’s decision to negotiate with the Taliban for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which would have violated the U.S. policy against negotiating with terrorists. These negotiations led to the release of five Taliban detainees in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl — who was subsequently charged with desertion.

Recently the Taliban stated that it would enter peace discussions with the Afghan government — but only if all U.S. and coalition forces leave the country. That said, violence is ongoing in the country, despite ongoing reconciliation talks.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user ResoluteSupportMedia)

Official Title

Expressing the sense of Congress that the radical Islamic movement in Afghanistan known as the Taliban should be recognized officially as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States Government.

concurrent resolution Progress


  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedFebruary 3rd, 2015
    "We got Bergdahl, they get five leaders — killers — that want to kill us all." [breitbart.com]
    Like (91)
    Follow
    Share
    To the question of should they be designated terrorists, the answer is clearly yes. To the question of the Congress determine this instead of the President or the Secretary of State, the answer is clearly no.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    It takes some Olympian-esque rhetorical gymnastics to try and dance around calling the Taliban a terrorist organization.
    Like (53)
    Follow
    Share
    To those who have disagreed with me I would like to point out that the Taliban see themselves and are Afghans. Their war efforts are towards what they consider insurgents, us. Unless there is a negotiated peace between the Taliban and the elected government there will be U.S. Armed forces in Afghanistan as there are in South Korea for the next twenty years. There are two many knee jerk reactions to what is a terrorist. The Taliban unlike the Islamic State is not sponsoring state terrorism outside of their war activities within what is in their opinion their country. I am quite sure the new government of Afghanistan is trying to have negotiations with the new leadership of the Taliban, and if anyone thinks we're not a party to it, well then I would be inclined to say that naïveté does nothing to end conflict.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation states that any organization that involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., is a Terrorist Organization. As a Combat Veteran of Operation: Enduring Freedom, let me share with you my opinion on if the Taliban is a Terrorist Organization as is outlined in accordance by the FBI. Does the Taliban involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life? Yes they do. For the 12 months we were deployed to Afghanistan, we were witness firsthand to the atrocities that members of the Taliban committed against the very people we were there to help. Not only was our war a war to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, but we were also fighting to save their lives from being taken by the Taliban. Any time that anyone came to us for help, regardless of the reason, or any time anyone was seen speaking to an American Soldier, they were identified as a supporter of the United States, a crime punishable by death. Did the Taliban intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of the Afghan Government through intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of the Afghan Government? Yes they did. The more time we tried building up the Afghan National Army, or the Afghan Uniformed Police, the harder they fought to destroy what we were trying to accomplish. When they knew they couldn’t best us in a firefight, they attacked the very same bodies we were sacrificing to build up empower. Our efforts were countered by their efforts, and it was just a constant back and forth that never ended with a clear winner. Well, I suppose you could say they won since all they had to do was wait us out, and they did. The last qualifier the FBI has laid out to determine if an organization is a Terrorist Organization or not, is does the organization operate outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. With the answer to this question being a resounding yes. The Taliban owns Afghanistan. They come and go as they please, their freedom of movement is unrestricted. The Taliban wields more power and influence in Afghanistan than anyone else. For our 12 months fighting the Taliban, the day we finished deconstructing our Combat Outpost and left our Area of Operations to the ANA + AUP, the Taliban moved in, took up our old fighting positions, and started punishing the people who they suspected of working with us. Lastly, we lost seven Soldiers during our time there. Seven Soldiers from just my Company alone, this is not taking into account the other killed or wounded from throughout the rest of the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). Based on my observations, my experiences, the losses I suffered as an Officer to my Soldiers, and the disabilities I will live the rest of my life because of all this, do I believe the Taliban is a Terrorist Organization? Absolutely I do. There is no doubt they are. The Taliban is willing to go to any lengths to be successful in their endeavors. They will not stop, they will not cede, and these reasons I have outlined here, is the reason why I voted “Yea"
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    The Taliban, while a major thorn in our side and a cause for a lot of deaths from Afghani to American, deciding just now to declare them as a terrorist organization will do nothing but hamper attempts for peace talks between the US preferred government in Afghanistan and the Taliban. Afghanistan has been wrought with war for a decade and then some and it's time that peace talks be taken seriously.
    Like (8)
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    Share
    Should have been done long ago
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    This seems extremely obvious, they go around to their own people shooting up girls schools and generally terrorizing their country. Why shouldn't they be labeled as such?
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    Duh. Is it not obvious? What possible difference could it make except to give the war mongers another talking point? If you can't function with the reality unlabeled then your argument is weak & questionable.
    Like (5)
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    They have engaged in terrorist activities against americans for over two decades.
    Like (4)
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    Yes they are terrorists and should be designated as such along with other similar groups.
    Like (3)
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    The Taliban are a terrorist organization, pure and simple. They cannot be labeled as anything else, due to their activities. We must call the enemy for what they are, if we are ever going to defeat them. Organizations like the Taliban, must be destroyed completely. They are a cancer, a virus, and must be treated as such.
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    The "Taliban" IS a terrorist organization
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    They killed Non-combatant children in Pakistan for religious purposes. Terrorists. I'm not sure how appropriate negotiations should be at this point.
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    WTF? Since when isn't the Taliban a terrorist organization? Oh.....since Hussein took office and started sending them boatloads of arms and money....right.....
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    The Oxford dictionary states: Terrorism - (noun) The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. By their own actions they are a terrorist group, whether we choose to label them as such or not. Stop wasting time.
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    Yes
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    Why have they not been so designated since Sep. 11, 2001?
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    They're terrorist against women, for sure.
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    It isn't?? That's pretty dumb
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