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April 2, 2021

The Longest War

Reports of “bounties” for the killing of U.S. soldiers serving in America’s longest war.

What To Know

Big Picture: Afghanistan

  • The Taliban controls more territory in Afghanistan now than at any other time in America’s longest war.
  • In February, the U.S. signed a “peace deal” with the Taliban based on certain conditions that *could* lead to the withdrawal of American forces.
  • A recent State Dept. assessment says the Taliban and other al-Qaeda-linked groups continue violent attacks despite the deal’s terms.

Reports: What To Know

  • Several media outlets recently released stories about a Russian military agency paying “Taliban-linked” militants to kill American soldiers.
  • All reports *cite anonymous sources.*
  • Reports: U.S. intel identified money flowing from Russian military to Taliban accounts “most likely” connected to bounties.
  • Reports: A car bomb that killed 3 Marines last year suspected to be part of bounty.
“There was not a consensus among the intelligence community. And, in fact, there were dissenting opinions within the intelligence community, and it would not be elevated to the president until it was verified.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany during an afternoon briefing Monday. The White House continues to call the reports “unverified.”

“I do not understand for a moment why the president is not saying this to the American people right now and is relying on ‘I don’t know,’ ‘I haven’t heard,’ ‘I haven’t been briefed.’ That is just not excusable.”

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Ca) as reports, referencing the anonymous officials, cite the President heard of these reports in February.

“We are still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting, and we will brief the president and congressional leaders at the appropriate time. This is the analytic process working the way it should. Unfortunately, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story with respect to these allegations.”

Dir. of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe

The Politics

The President’s critics point to the story as highlighting further evidence that the President isn’t tough enough on Russia.

The President’s allies say this story lacks evidence and serves as another attempt to hurt the President by tying him to false allegations of Russian collusion.

America entered Afghanistan because the Taliban provided al-Qaeda a safe harbor to organize, train, and plot September 11th terror attacks. A shooting on a Navy base in Florida last year was recently tied to al-Qaeda. Read more on our source page.

Additional Reading:

Summary of State Dept. Report: CLICK HERE

Latest on July 2 by Associated Press and New York Times: CLICK HERE and HERE

Attack in Pensacola Florida: CLICK HERE


2 U.S. soldiers killed in action in February in Afghanistan: CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,