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Latest ISIS Attack In Afghanistan Is Bad News For US Effort

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Islamic State gunmen opened fire on Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency building Monday in the latest troubling sign of a deteriorating security situation in the country.

The ISIS gunmen were armed with RPG’s and other light weapons, and were able to engage in a lengthy firefight with the security guards. Afghan officials noted that ISIS used a signature militant move in Afghanistan of wearing false police uniforms to infiltrate the area. Insider and imposter attacks are a near mainstay for Afghan and U.S. troops in the fight against the Taliban and ISIS.

The attack demonstrates the continued ability of ISIS to use its small safe haven in Afghanistan to mount high profile attacks in the capital of Kabul. ISIS has been relentlessly hammered by U.S. and Afghan security forces but continues to remain a threat inside the country.

The main U.S. fight in Afghanistan is not against ISIS but the growing Taliban insurgency. The U.S. will adopt a conditions — not timeline-based — approach in Afghanistan, with an overall strategy to push Taliban militants to the negotiating table with the Afghan national government, Trump declared in an Aug. 21 address. The Taliban, however, have little reason to negotiate after banner years in the Afghan war. The group controls more territory than at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2001, along with nearly one-third of the Afghan population.

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