The US and their Afghan allies have been hammering the Islamic State offshoot in recent weeks including dropping the MOAB (Mother of all Bombs) recently on tunnel strongholds where the terrorist group has been hiding.
But according to an OPED in the New York Times, the US may be focusing on the wrong enemy and not the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The battle being waged in Nangarhar Province in recent weeks has claimed the lives of two American Special Operations Force soldiers and at least one top leader of the terrorist group. The US has issued a statement that they’re trying to wipe out the group by the end of 2017.
But the United States’ obsession with the Islamic State in Khorosan – a minor group in Afghanistan – distracts attention from a more urgent task: negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban which controls close to half of Afghanistan.
Two years after its emergence in Afghanistan, the Islamic State affiliate is still struggling to consolidate its organizational capacity. The few major attacks it has claimed were mostly sectarian and aimed at soft targets: two gatherings of Shiites and a hospital in Kabul, and, in Pakistan, a Sufi Shrine in Sindh and a hospital in Quetta.
Although the Islamic State in Khorosan and the Taliban follow politically contrasting goals and constitute different types of threats, the Taliban’s manpower is 50 times greater according to estimates from Afghan and Western analysts in Kabul.
While the author here, Borhan Osman believes that a peace treaty with the Taliban is the way to go, that would never work. The Taliban are interested in only one thing and that is absolute power in Afghanistan. To think otherwise is foolhardy. As for the writer’s other theory that the recent MOAB bombing by Trump will cause more fighters to flock to ISIS side there…It doesn’t seem to hold water.
The group is down to 600 fighters from more than 3000 a year ago. Most of their senior leadership have been killed in airstrikes. The strategy seems to be to eliminate the Islamic State affiliate first and then concentrate on the Taliban.
To read the entire article from the New York Times click here:
Photo courtesy Reuters