Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The Islamic State of Afghanistan

| December 22, 2015

With the caliphate growing across Central Asia, it's time to make a deal with the Taliban — the enemy we know.

As of Tuesday night, Taliban fighters had reportedly surrounded Afghan troops in Sangin, a key town in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. At the end of a dysfunctional supply chain, the Afghan forces are low on ammunition, unable to evacuate their wounded, and fighting with their backs to the wall. A small number of U.S. and British troops have been rushed into the province to coordinate the defense effort.

Alarmism has no place in strategy, but from a calm, objective standpoint, it is nonetheless clear that the military situation in Helmand — as in much of Afghanistan — is getting close to critical, if it's not there already. Now the Afghan government's Western supporters and NATO need to show resolve and firmly back up the beleaguered Afghan security forces and do so with a view to a negotiated peace, not an open-ended war....

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Simpson, Emile.“The Islamic State of Afghanistan.” Foreign Policy, December 22, 2015.

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