A suicide attacker rammed an explosives-laden motorcycle into a joint NATO-Afghan patrol Monday, killing six American troops in the deadliest attack on international forces since August. Two US troops and an Afghan were wounded.
The attack happened as Taliban fighters overran a strategic district in southern Helmand province, the scene of some of the deadliest fighting between the Taliban and international combat forces prior to the 2014 withdrawal, adding weight to Pentagon predictions that the insurgency is gaining strength.
The soldiers were targeted as they moved through a village near Bagram Airfield, the largest US military facility in Afghanistan, NATO and Afghan officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Flashback Joe Biden 2011: The Taliban is Not Our Enemy
ABC News 12/19/2011
In interview with Newsweek/Daily Beast, Vice President Biden asserted that “the Taliban per se is not our enemy.”
The ongoing reconciliation process has long included bringing in forces who have taken up arms against the U.S. and against the Afghan government, but Biden might face criticism for stating that as an organization the Taliban is not the enemy of the U.S., when its leadership and members have devoted so much time, resources and energy towards killing American soldiers.
Republicans are already circulating the quote, noting that U.S. forces are still killing, and being killed by, Taliban fighters, trying to figure out how to use the quote given the reality that any peace in Afghanistan will by necessity likely need to include a brokered peace with Taliban forces.