NATO Spokesman Dismisses Afghan ISIS After Massive Weekend Bombing

General Says Blowing Up Citizens Doesn't Mean They're Stronger

A massive twin suicide bombing by ISIS in the Afghan capital city of Kabul killed at least 80 people, and wounding well over 200. That doesn’t mean NATO is going to take them seriously, however, according to spokesman Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland.

Talking to reporters today, Cleveland insisted a “suicide bomb against a bunch of frankly defenseless citizens” might produce “the perception of insecurity, but it doesn’t mean they’re stronger,” adding that NATO doesn’t think ISIS is gaining strength in the nation at all.

The general went on to claim that ISIS is Afghanistan is “in the same or even in a worse position today” than in recent months, with just 1,000 to 3,000 fighters nationwide. That’s a substantial force, however, particularly since the Afghan government has claimed ISIS all but wiped out in previous comments.

Despite being targeted repeatedly, ISIS has not only maintained its presence in Nangarhar, but proven its ability to launch a major attack in the capital city. That the government made no real effort to defend the Hazara civilians slain, far from an argument that ISIS isn’t a real threat to security, reflects how little security there is to be had in Afghanistan at any rate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.