You know about ISIS in Syria and Iraq …
But did you know that ISIS is also spreading like a cancer in Afghanistan?
The Independent reported in July:
The Americans, who were, just three months ago, dismissing the arrival of Isis in Afghanistan as nothing more than an internal squabble within Taliban, now belatedly acknowledge they are facing a growing threat with very limited means of response after the withdrawal of the bulk of international forces at the end of last year.
The head of the US military has held an urgent meeting with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to discuss how to “oppose the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant”. General Martin Dempsey spoke afterwards about the need to address “the transregional nature of what is clearly a persistent threat that has to be addressed at a sustainable level over a period of time”.
The Americans, in other words, are casting around for a strategy.
Isis has been posting videos of Pakistani soldiers being beheaded and has declared that the “Islamist State” will spread across Afghanistan and Pakistan.
As well as seizing territory from the Taliban, Isis are grabbing opium, of which Afghanistan is the biggest producer in the world, and moving it west along parts of Iraq under its control, adding to their already substantial war chest.
Similarly, ISIS is metastasizing in Libya. As the New Yorker notes:
“We think the threat from ISIL-affiliated groups in Libya is very serious and we’re treating it that way,” a senior Administration official told me, on Friday. “Libyans are, too. We’re seeing an increasing Libyan awareness of and willingness to confront the ISIL threat as time goes on.” The official added that the Administration was “ looking at who we can work with, both internally and externally, in order to confront that threat, without necessarily being completely dependent on the political process reaching a conclusion.”
Another senior Administration official noted, “You have the Americans doing things, and the French in the south, but to really leverage that against ISIS you need a national-unity government in Libya.” Such a government, he explained, would be able to request international military assistance. In the absence of a national-unity government, Frederic Wehrey, of the Carnegie Endowment, said he expected the U.S. to embrace some of the Libyan militia groups and “to work with whoever to fight ISIS.”