According to the Department of Defense, in the Report to Congress, ISIS is expanding into Afghanistan.
The new target, near the Khorasan Province and the Nangarhar Province, is what ISIS calls the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province or IS-KP.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province has progressed from its initial exploratory phase to a point where they are openly fighting the Taliban for the establishment of a safe haven, and are becoming more operationally active. IS-KP has successfully seized pockets of terrain from the Taliban in Nangarhar Province. The group claimed an improvised explosive device (IED) attack against a UN vehicle in September 2015 and conducted its first attack against the ANDSF later that month when it attacked as many as 10 checkpoints in the same day in Achin district, Nangarhar. The group continues to recruit disaffected Taliban and formerly Taliban-aligned fighters, most notably the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which publicly declared allegiance to IS-KP in August 2015. IS-KP has not yet conducted an attack against RS forces, although the group’s recruitment of experienced fighters and commanders could increase its capability to do so over at least the next year.
The motive seems clear. ISIS wants to take everything that the Taliban has created and forcefully make it their own. ISIS, much like a virus, spreads rapidly and consumes its host. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are two main recruiting hotbeds for future ISIS soldiers. ISIS continually storms in, rips apart leadership, and introduces a newer, improved version of Islam with more money and power.
As seen on PBS Frontline, ISIS has established schooling for young Afghan children.
In a matter of a few months, ISIS has claimed almost as much territory as the US held from 2003 to 2011. The dominos in the Middle East are falling so fast that the media and Department of Defense cannot keep up. Our president tells us one day that we are beating ISIS, then we learn of oil trucks coming in and out of Turkey, heading for Syria, while ISIS is extending its campaign into Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense will probably down play this as an insignificant move, and then, not too long from now, we will see that ISIS has complete control of an Afghan city. Probably a city that was once controlled by the US.
ISIS is not playing some silly game. ISIS is on the move. ISIS is gaining more and more ground, more and more recruits, and they are not content with settling in the outskirts of Iraq. For 15 years, we have been in the Middle East trying to ‘win the hearts and minds’ of people who hate our values and forms of government.
The GOP’s new and improved tactic is ground troops. Have we all the sudden learned that ground troops will send ISIS fleeing, or that ISIS will surrender once the first division of Marines lands in Syria? Let history answer this question.