France makes nice with Taliban

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

In a foreign-policy shift that is not likely to earn any brownie points with the West, the French government recently met with officials from Afghanistan’s notoriously violent and oppressive ruling body, the Taliban Islamic militia, according to STRATFOR.

Recent Must Reads

9/20 – Executions can be fun!

9/19 – Whither Upton Sinclair?

9/16 – That sinking feeling

9/15 – Fighting jelly with jelly

It seems that France, which is heavily invested in the oil and gas industries in South Asia, wants to profit from the hot global market for oil and natural gas, and the civil war in Afghanistan between the Taliban and its fragmented foes has made construction of a crucial pipeline in the region difficult. France may be trying to facilitate peace talks between the warring Afghan factions in order to expedite the pipeline, according to STRATFOR’s analysts. Russia, which also has oil interests in the region, may soon follow suit.

While France has never officially recognized the Taliban, the recent meeting could strengthen the militia’s claim as a legitimate body, and may signal that France is preparing to open diplomatic relations with the Taliban. Only three countries — Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — recognize the extremely religious, extremely sexist Taliban as a legitimate government.

Yet again, the global economy trumps the global conscience.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend