Last week, Vice President Joe Biden offered the latest - and arguably the clearest - evidence of Team Obama's strategy for victory in what was once euphemistically known as the "War on Terror": Define down the enemy.
In an interview with former State Department official Leslie Gelb published in Newsweek, Biden declared: "The Taliban per se is not our enemy. That's critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests."
In other words, the Obama administration appears to have embraced the Taliban line that it will stop killing and maiming our people as soon as there are no more of them in Afghanistan. As one of its operatives told reporters for The Daily Beast: "We are not a worldwide movement. Our focus is totally on Afghan territory. Ninety-nine percent of Taliban couldn't even find the U.S. on a map."
There is a question that must be answered before we go any farther in the direction Obama-Biden and Company clearly have in mind - namely, negotiating what amounts to the surrender of Afghanistan to so-called "moderate" members of the Taliban: The issue is not whether the Taliban is a worldwide movement, but is it part of one?
Indisputably, the Taliban considers itself to be an element of the umma, the Dar al-Islam, the Muslim world. As such, it embraces, practices and imposes the totalitarian, supremacist political-military-legal doctrine known as shariah. It has these attributes in common with al Qaeda. It also shares them with other unsavory elements around the world such as: the Muslim Brotherhood, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb ut Tahrir, Hamas, Hezbollah, the governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist group that massacred dozens of Christians on Christmas Day.
The Obama administration refuses to recognize this reality. It would have us believe that the only threat we face comes from al Qaeda. In fact, increasingly, it seems to suggest that we need not be unduly concerned about its franchises in the Levant, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula, just "core" al Qaeda. For that matter, we don't really have to worry about the core group's foot soldiers, just their leadership. And, according to senior U.S. officials, we have killed all but two of those.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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