don't count on it
Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley on Wednesday acknowledged that "it's possible" the United States could coordinate with the Taliban on future airstrikes against their common enemy in Afghanistan, the Islamic State.
The U.S. no longer has a military presence on the ground in Afghanistan, so Washington's intelligence is limited, meaning the Taliban, which despises ISIS' Afghan affiliate (commonly referred to as ISIS-K), may have to come into play at some point despite also being an American adversary. The sides already struck a deal during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last month, when the Taliban agreed to escort Americans to Kabul's airport amid threats of an ISIS-K attack, which did eventually occur and killed nearly 200 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members. Milley, who described the Taliban as "ruthless," said the pact showed how "in war you do what you must in order to reduce risk to mission and force, not what you necessarily want to do."
That said, it's far from a sure thing that the U.S. and the Taliban will cooperate at all going forward. NBC News' Courtney Kube reported Wednesday after Milley's comments that she hasn't noticed much enthusiasm for the possibility in the Pentagon. There reportedly aren't many people there who "think that there's going to be some eduring relationship with the Taliban," Kube said. Read more at The Associated Press.