A new report at The New York Times seems to indicate the US is just looking to contain ISIS in Afghanistan. Containment strategy usually means you’ve accepted that it will get worse. The US is seeking to leave Afghanistan anyway.
The article link is here.
A senior U.S. general says that ISIS remains a “very worrisome” presence in Afghanistan, but it is unlikely to mount an attack on the U.S. homeland because it is under strong military pressure.
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who heads the U.S. Central Command, on June 12 told reporters the extremist group “in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States.”
And then this bit:
The Islamic State group in Afghanistan is a “very worrisome” threat to the United States, and U.S. counterterrorism efforts have yet to shrink its extremist ambitions, a senior American general said Wednesday.
And Al-Jazeera writes:
ISIL appeared in Afghanistan shortly after the group’s core fighters swept across Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014, carving out a base in about one-third of both countries.
The Afghanistan affiliate refers to itself as “Khorasan Province”, a name applied to parts of Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia in the Middle Ages.
The group’s presence initially numbered just a few dozen fighters, mainly Pakistan Taliban driven from their bases across the border and disgruntled Afghan Taliban attracted to ISIL’s ideology.
And it could be a new base for ISIS, like it once was for Al-Qaeda.
A US intelligence official based in Afghanistan told The Associated Press that a recent wave of attacks in the capital, Kabul, is “practice runs” for even bigger attacks in Europe and the United States.
“This group is the most near-term threat to our homelands from Afghanistan,” the official said on condition of anonymity to preserve his operational security. “The ISIS core mandate is: You will conduct external attacks” in the US and Europe. “That is their goal. It’s just a matter of time,” he said. “It is very scary.”
The article quotes Bruce Hoffman:
Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, sees Afghanistan as a possible new base for ISIS now that it has been driven from Iraq and Syria. “ISIS has invested a disproportionate amount of attention and resources in Afghanistan,” he said, pointing to “huge arms stockpiling” in the east.