AFRICOM has stepped up its targeting of the Islamic State, and continues to pursue its efforts to “degrade” al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia. Unfortunately, the defeat of the two terror groups is not in the cards.
Al Qaeda is operating “across the country” and not confined to one region, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan said.
In his testimony to Congress in July 2016, Zalmay Khalilzad called for designating Pakistan a State Sponsor of Terrorism for its support of the Taliban, noted the enduring Taliban-al Qaeda alliance. Today he praises Pakistan for its desire for peace in Afghanistan and claims the Taliban will be an effective counterterrorism partner.
Bill Roggio testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism, and examines the global terrorism landscape.
The US military launched its second strike against the Islamic State’s network in northern Somalia in the past two weeks.
The Taliban has consistently refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, and said the composition of the delegation to Doha indicates that it represents the Afghan government.
Unlike previous years, the Taliban does not prioritize attacks on US and NATO forces, but instead sets its crosshairs on those working for the Afghan government, military, and police. The statement is yet another clear indication that the Taliban will not share power with the Afghan government, but instead seeks to impose its will on the country.
The Taliban decried the upcoming Afghan Loya Jirga for Peace as a tool of “the invaders and their stooges,” and called on all Afghans to shun the jirga.