Claims that Russian military intelligence offered bounties on American personnel first emerged in US media last June, months after then-president Donald Trump’s administration signed a treaty to end the 19-year Afghan war. New president Joe Biden’s team has already signalled that Washington will delay the agreed troop withdrawal.
A US Democrat senator has urged President Joe Biden’s intel chief to declassify documents on claims Russia paid the Afghan Taliban “bounties” for killing US troops.
“I urge you to take action where the prior administration failed,” Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
“Gold Star” families are those who have lost a member of the armed forces in battle.
In June 2020, the Washington Post and Associated Press quoted claims by unnamed sources that Russia’s GRU military intelligence service had offered the Taliban, which had been fighting the US-led occupation since 2001, cash for killing American personnel.
The sources also claimed that then-president Donald Trump’s administration knew of the alleged Russian offer in 2019, and that the practice had continued while the White House was negotiating a treaty to end the 19-year war. The claims emerged four months after Trump’s February 2020 peace deal with the Taliban — which the Democrats vehemently opposed — and amid the drawdown…