Right Hooks

Taliban and Islamic State Strengthen in Afghanistan

Aaaaand they're back, folks.

Dan Gilmore · Oct. 13, 2015
U.S. soldiers exchange fire with the Taliban, March 2011. Photo courtesy U.S. Army, Flickr

Aaaaand they’re back, folks. While a U.S. general told Congress last week that the Afghan government is dealing with the Taliban, a United Nations report found that the threat of the Taliban is the highest it’s been since 2001. Recently, the Taliban has flexed its strength, throwing up roadblocks and capturing and withdrawing from the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. But don’t worry; a force is rising up to claim title as the most brutal of the brutal. The Taliban is skirmishing with the Islamic State, which has established a franchise in the eastern part of Afghanistan with fighters who splintered from America’s old enemy. Meanwhile, Barack Obama — the guy who says he’ll stay the course in Syria — changed his timeline on the troop drawdown in Afghanistan. Over fears that the original withdrawal that Obama envisioned would destabilize the Afghan government further than it already has, he hints that he will keep U.S. troops in the country until he leaves the presidency. It’s a decent decision, but it comes too late — after he has squandered most of the gains over the last 14 years.

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