Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the Haqqani Network, in 2001. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

The Haqqani Network is currently the most lethal Taliban faction in Afghanistan. It's carried out spectacular attacks on US forces and Afghan civilians for years. On Friday the group was officially designated as a terrorist organization by the US government. Stephen Biddle says there are reasons for that. Biddle is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. "Clearly they are terrorists," he says, "and everyone has known that for a long time. The issue has always been, do we gain anything by announcing it." Biddle worries that the announcement will throw sand in the gears of any peace talks. The administration was obliged to act by a Congressional resolution that required the executive to either designate the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization, or explain to Congress why.

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