Are the Taliban and the Haqqani Network ‘Separate Entities’?

On August 27, during a State Department briefing on Afghanistan, State Department spokesman Ned Price was asked if the State Department’s security “coordination” on security with the Taliban “extends to members of the Haqqani Network.” In response, Price said “no,” claiming that the “Taliban and the Haqqani network are separate entities.” 

This is a false claim. 

According to the National Defense Authorization Act of this year, Congress defines Taliban as follows: “The term ‘the Taliban’’— refers to the organization that refers to itself as the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’, that was founded by Mohammed Omar, and that is currently led by Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada; and includes subordinate organizations, such as the Haqqani Network, and any successor organization.”

Furthermore, during a CNN interview last week, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, when asked if the “U.S. is coordinating with the Haqqani Network,” said: “We’re engaging through military channels with the Taliban. The Taliban, obviously, to a considerable extent are integrated with the Haqqani Network.”

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