The US changed its policy related to 'War on Terror' a couple of years ago, with former President Donald Trump deciding to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Later, the US officials held talks with the Taliban leaders several times before leaving the war-ravaged country. Now, the State Department has softened its stand on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Colombian rebel outfit.
Five years after a peace agreement in Colombia, the US has removed FARC from its list of global terrorist organizations. According to sources close to the State Department, the move will certainly give Washington more flexibility in supporting the peace process in the Latin American country. It may be noted that the FARC was dissolved after the 2016 Peace Agreement.
Confirming the news, Assistant US Secretary of State (for the Western Hemisphere) Brian Nichols has said that the Biden Administration decided to delist FARC after considering the ground reality. Earlier, the Assistant Secretary of State informed the Senators that the US added two rebel groups that emerged from the FARC, FARC-EP and the Segunda Marquetalia, to its blacklist, as they were carrying out terrorist activities. Hence, Washington DC would concentrate on these two outfits, and not on FARC.
The State Department has made it clear that it would take action against former FARC leaders, who are accused of trafficking narcotics. The White House recently sent a top official to Miami to inform the Colombian Americans about its decision to remove the FARC from the list of international terrorist organizations.
However, some Senators have opposed the State Department's move, as they are of the opinion that Colombia still considers FARC as a terror outfit. Florida Senator Marco Rubio stressed: "They didn't want the delisting. What they wanted was, to the extent that you're going to provide assistance to these people who abandoned the guerrilla fight, laid down their weapons, become politically engaged, we want you to run that assistance through the democratically elected government of Colombia, not unilaterally."
Meanwhile, the Colombian Embassy in Washington DC is yet to make any comment on this issue. In a statement, the Embassy said that the US' decision to add two groups to the terror list was a positive step. Defense experts are of the opinion that the current global geopolitical landscape has prompted the US to change in policy towards global terrorism. So, the US has softened stand on FAC after normalizing ties with the Taliban.