Slow Joe’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan didn’t just arm the Taliban, which received a windfall of arms and equipment that it recently displayed in a march through Kabul. It also empowered ISIS-K, which now reportedly occupies part of “close to all” of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
According to Just the News, which reported on the subject in a recent article:
U.N. Special Representative Deborah Lyons, of Canada, made the assessment Wednesday before the U.N. Security Council and also said the Taliban’s response to Islamic State-Khorasan Province’s (ISIS-K) expansion appears to be heavily reliant upon killing suspected ISIS fighters.
[…]”Once limited to a few provinces and the capital, ISKP now seems to be present in nearly all provinces, and increasingly active,” she said.
The group recently claimed responsibility for two explosions that killed at least one person and injured half a dozen others in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood in Kabul. The group has executed at least 334 attacks this year, compared to 60 in 2020.
So, while the Taliban had once been confined to a few small areas of Afghanistan and faced punishing US attacks, as when Trump dropped a MOAB on one of its tunnel complexes, it has now spread like a cancer throughout the entire country and the Taliban is reportedly unable to stem its growth despite utilizing brutal tactics to kill all suspected ISIS-K members.
Those tactics reportedly include house searches of suspected ISIS-K fighters and extrajudicial detentions and killings of ISIS suspects.
Still, despite those gloves-off tactics, the Taliban has proven unable to stem ISIS-K’s growth. The result isn’t just that ISIS-K holds more territory, but is also that it is now launching more and more attacks. 2020 saw 60 ISIS-Kstrikes; those increased over 500% to 334 this year, and we still have over a month to go.
Lyons, in her report on the matter, also noted that Afghanistan is headed into a long, cold winter due to lack of funds and effectively begged the “international community” for assistance. Assistance that would, if effective, keep the Taliban secure in its power by stabilizing the country.
For that reason, the US and other Western nations have shown a reluctance to send yet more taxpayer dollars to the disintegrating, terrorist-overrun nation. China, however, has shown no such qualms and has provided hefty amounts of financial aid to the Taliban.
However, that aid has apparently not been enough. The Taliban has demanded that the US and Western Europe unfreeze Afghanistan’s financial assets, which were frozen by Western banks after the fall of the Ghani government and the Taliban’s ascension to power.
To put pressure on Western Europe, the Taliban has threatened to send a horde of migrants and “refugees” toward Western Europe if its funds are not released.
However, while the West has shown a reluctance to engage with the Taliban to stabilize the country and take down ISIS, that attitude might be changing. State Department Special Representative Thomas West told reporters earlier this month that:
“We want the Taliban to succeed against ISIS-K. When it comes to other groups, look, al Qaeda continues to have a presence in Afghanistan that we are very concerned about, and that is an issue of ongoing concern for us in our dialogue with the Taliban.”
So, perhaps a changing attitude toward the brutal terrorist group means the US will start funding the Mujahedeen yet again, or will at least help it preserve its rule to fight ISIS. Time will only tell, but the Taliban is surely finding all those American weapons Brandon left over there helpful in this new fight.