Handcuffs Coming Off: U.S. green lights offensive operation against ISIS in Afghanistan


The Pentagon has granted U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan the long awaited green light to move forward with a plan to go on the offensive against ISIS.

This expansion in the U. S. mission allows Troops to target thousands of Islamic State militants posing a growing threat to the eastern province of Nangarhar. The decision is a bold recognition of the need to expand the military mission in Afghanistan to include targeting al-Qaida-linked groups and the Islamic State offshoot “ISIS-K” that is estimated to include between 1,000 and 3,000 fighters, a defense official said.

“It is certainly a significant step. It is certainly a recognition of a long term potential threat,” according to Military Times.

U.S. troops have two primary missions; to target hostile forces, specifically al-Qaida and the Islamic State – and to train and assist the Afghan military in its fight against the Taliban.

While the U. S. has always had the authority to target any groups that threaten U. S. forces, this green light to move forward is a game changer.

ISIS-K stands for (Khorasan), formed in January 2015, which is the ISIS branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ISIS-K already is believed to be responsible for suicide and small-arms attacks and kidnappings, targeting civilians and Afghan government officials, according to CNN.

Lawyers from the White House and Defense Departments have made an official designation of ISIS in Afghanistan as a hostile force. The designation is both rare and significant according to officials; it simply means that U. S. forcesroops area now allowed to target and attack terrorist groups and all of their factions, a military official said.

The U.S. now has more legal authority to target ISIL-K than the Taliban. This could reflects how the Afghan government views the Taliban as a political problem, a partner in future negotiations, and could potentially change the way the U. S. responds to the Taliban.

At this point, “The Afghan government has said, with the Taliban, they are looking for a long term peaceful solution. They don’t seem to view ISIL-K the same way,” a military official said.

As the threat of Islamic terrorism rises and Afghan forces seek a peace solution, the U. S. remains a necessary force in the Middle-East.

Operating from the offensive is what many have been calling for, not holding back for a grand solution, but fighting back now to slow down the spread of global terrorism.

This U. S. offensive means that our Troops can support the Afghan forces in achieving their goal of eradicating war; finally having the authority to “fight fire with fire”.

 

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