Nikki Haley Warns Biden Not to Recognize 'Sick and Twisted' Taliban as Afghanistan's Rulers

Nikki Haley is warning President Joe Biden not to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan's government after the militant group seized control of the country earlier this month.

Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President Donald Trump, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Sunday that the Biden administration has "badly bungled" the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

"He must not also bungle the coming decision on whether to recognize these barbarians as Afghanistan's legitimate government," Haley wrote. "Doing so would bring the United States even lower while raising up a regime that deserves nothing."

The Taliban's rapid takeover of Afghanistan culminated on August 15, when the group seized control of the presidential palace in Kabul.

The Taliban has pledged to respect women's rights, despite their history of violence and oppression. Many leaders and organizations have voiced concern that the militant group's control could lead to more violations of humanitarian law.

Haley wrote in the Post that U.S. recognition of the Taliban would "reward and encourage such evil actions" and that global leaders should refuse to recognize the group until it "proves over many years that it's part of the civilized world."

"Recognizing the Taliban would ignore how sick and twisted it truly is," Haley stated.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters last week that the Biden administration was still "taking stock" of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and would decide whether to recognize the group's rule only if it upholds human rights and prohibits terrorist activities.

"It will depend upon the actions of the Taliban," Price said. "We are watching closely."

Haley Warns Biden Not to Recognize Taliban
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is warning President Joe Biden not to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan's government. Above, Haley speaks during the first day of the Republican national convention on August 24, 2020. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Biden has defended his decision to withdraw combat forces from the country, saying that American troops shouldn't be "fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves."

But his administration continues to be criticized by both sides of the aisle for the execution of the withdrawal, as thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies remain trapped in the country following the Taliban's rise to power.

The Pentagon said that more than 17,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan last week. The department has ordered commercial airlines to provide planes to help speed up the evacuation efforts.

Biden said on Sunday that the U.S. may look to extend its August 31 deadline for withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan. "There's discussions going on among us and the military about extending," the president said in remarks delivered from the White House. "Our hope is we will not have to extend."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment on Haley's op-ed but didn't receive a response before publication.