When reporters asked senior military leaders last summer about the Islamic State franchise in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, the answer was that it was “emergent” — in other words, a fledgling terrorist army.
Last week, the Pentagon issued a statement touting the coalition killing of the Islamic State’s leader in Afghanistan. With it, the military seemed to retroactively increase the threat of the Afghan Islamic State branch a year ago.
“Nangarhar province has been a hotbed for ISIL-Khorasan activity since the summer of 2015,” the press release said.
The description today of the Islamic State as a hotbed of activity a year ago, to one expert, indicates that theObama administration once again underestimated the Syrian-based group’s ability to expand around the region.