Yesterday morning, a report emerged from The Washington Post that CIA Director William Burns met with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul. This meeting reportedly happened on Monday, August 23. The Post article lists the source for this information as “U.S officials familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy.”

Yes, I would think this definitely qualifies as “sensitive” in nature. Everything about this situation in Afghanistan is sensitive. And a bit insane.

If this report is accurate, which it seems to be, this meeting is significant.


This Meeting Is ‘Interesting’ for Many Reasons

The developments in Afghanistan over the past few weeks suggest that President Biden and his administration ignored the intelligence community’s recommendations and insight. They also ignored the military’s recommendations and the reality on the ground.

Therefore, it is all the more striking that the U.S. decided to send its top intelligence official, instead of a diplomatic representative, to meet with the Taliban.

According to The Washington Post, “The CIA declined to comment on the Taliban meeting, but the discussions likely involved an impending Aug. 31 deadline for the U.S. military to conclude its airlift of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies.” This was probably not the only topic of discussion.

This also means that open lines of communication with the Taliban have existed and still exist. Further, the meeting is significant because it means that U.S. officials were willing to send an extremely high-ranking member of the administration to meet with the Taliban on their turf. It means Burns flew into Kabul, had a meeting planned, and then went into hostile territory with all the risks this entails, with, certainly, guarantees of safe travel in and out.