ISIS Recovers Territory in Eastern Afghanistan

Afghan Forces Said to Be Planning Another Offensive

Afghan government officials claimed to have virtually wiped out ISIS in the Nangarhar Province early this year. Not long thereafter, they launched a major offensive against resurgent ISIS forces in Nangarhar, and once again appeared to have virtually expelled them from the area.

The government and its US allies have bragged about their success against ISIS, but the most recent reports indicate that those same districts in Nangarhar are increasingly falling under ISIS control yet again, and Afghan officials are already talking of a “fresh offensive” for yet another time.

ISIS has feelers out in a number of provinces around the country, and is recruiting virtually everywhere that they can. Nangarhar, and particularly districts along the Pakistan border, are their main stronghold of the faction, and these offensives don’t appear to be doing anything to displace them in anything more than a very temporary way.

US forces long downplayed the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan is not operational, but even after admitting the problem was real, they have been quick to back these brief, ultimately fruitless offensives by Afghan forces, and to believe the idea that they can wipe out ISIS in a matter of a few weeks.

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.