According to the US State Department, the major losses inflicted to ISIS and al-Qaeda over the past year has led both to adapt, dispersing into the surrounding areas and becoming far less vulnerable to US military attacks.
Particularly with ISIS, this was predicted by many analysts as the offensives built up. ISIS had large defensive forces in major cities, and with the loss of all those cities, much of the force has dispersed into the desert, where there simply aren’t major targets.
The State Department’s annual report showed no sign that they had any plan on what to do about this entirely predictable turn of events. Instead, they emphasized the gains made before the tactics changed.
While terror attacks are on the decline since then, the report wasn’t clear if that was good news or not, saying that the terror threats appear to be increasingly complex going forward. That means these groups are concluded to remain a “significant threat,” and there’s little the military can do about it.