Sunday, January 24, 2016

ISIS and Afghanistan

ISIS - "An Existential Threat". The Islamic State is attempting to establish footholds in a number of countries - in addition to that hold on territory that it currently enjoy in Syria and Iraq. ISIS is in competition with al-Qaeda in many of these areas. Afghanistan is one of those newly developed areas of endeavor for ISIS. Of course, Afghanistan and bordering areas of Pakistan has long been a sanctuary for al-Qaeda as well. Many foreign policy observers think we need to counter ISIS's growth anywhere they try to establish themselves (including Afghanistan). Read a report on ISIS and al Qaeda entitled Al Qaeda and ISIS: Existential Threats to the U.S. and Europe, Institute for the Study of War (ISW), January 2016.

Stepping up the Fight against ISIS (or is it ISIL?). Ash Carter, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, has penned an opinion piece on the fight against the Islamic State. Read "Ash Carter: It's Time to Accelerate the ISIL Fight", Politico, January 22, 2016. He says the fight should take place in three forms 1) eliminating the centers of ISIS power in Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq, 2) protecting the homeland, and 3) fighting ISIS where it is started to establish footholds - such as Afghanistan and Libya. Glad he is now on board!

ISIS Radio Station in Nangarhar. The Islamic State used the Internet and social media platforms to spread its message in Iraq, Syria, Libya and around the world. But in the impoverished country of Afghanistan most people have access to radio broadcasts but little access to the Internet. For that reason the Islamic State is using radio broadcasts to spread its message. Read "IS radio beams propaganda, threats across rural Afghanistan", Fox News, January 21, 2016.

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