Obama Administration ‘Divided’ on Declaring Haqqanis Terrorists

Move Would Be Another Major Blow for Pakistan Relations

With a Congressional deadline for a decision looming in a little over a week, the State Department is set to decide whether or not to declare the Haqqani Network an official terrorist organization.

The administration is said to be very divided over the issue, with the Pentagon pushing for the declaration and the State Department, and some in the White House, opposed to the idea on the grounds that it would lead to an eventual declaration of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Obama Administration has regularly blamed the Haqqani Network for high profile attacks in Afghanistan, and has even done so when other groups had already claimed credit for those attacks, suggesting they are extremely eager to pin something to the group.

But what would be the point? The Obama Administration is already sanctioning most of their Haqqani’s leadership and has launched scores of drone strikes against the group, assassinating top leaders in the faction. If the US can engage in an overt war against the group without putting them on the list in the first place, the point of the move (and indeed the list itself) is no longer obvious.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.