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Rashida Tlaib Claims Taliban, Formed in 1994, Was Backed by U.S. in the 1980s — But She's Not Completely Wrong

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib blamed America for the rise of the Taliban on social media Sunday evening, accusing the United States government of supporting the organization back in the 1980s.

“That’s what this is: the horrible consequences of endless war and failed US policy going back to the 1980s when we backed the Taliban against the Soviets. Innocent people suffer the horrors of war while political leaders and arms-dealing corporations sit back and make billions,” posted Tlaib on Twitter.

Tlaib is likely referring to the Afghan Mujahadeen, a coalition of groups aligned together to fight the invading Army of the Soviet Union.

The Taliban was officially formed years later from some components of the Mujahadeen.

A reporter with the New York Times questioned Tlaib’s comments.

“The Taliban did not exist in the 1980s, it did not fight the Soviet Union and it was not backed by the United States. You could fill a library with books about American screw ups in Afghanistan. No need to rely on fictions,” posted writer Matthew Rosenberg.

Editor’s Note: a previous version of this article asserted that Tlaib’s claim was false. The story has been revised to reflect the fact that Tlaib’s assertion contains a noteworthy component of truth. 

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