Following a string of wins for ISIS-K in recent months, the ruling Taliban government must quickly learn the art of counterinsurgency.
Over recent months, the Taliban has been the victim of targeted killings, attacks on critical infrastructure and a propaganda campaign from the Islamic State’s local Afghan network. Indeed, analysing the spread of the underground’s propaganda has illustrated that not only is the network growing in support, but also growing in areas of operations.
Peter Mills in the Institute for the Study of War argues that the local insurgents are using two primary vectors to undermine the Taliban government. Firstly, they’re undertaking a series of targeted attacks against Taliban soldiers and officials, not only to increase body bags, but also to undermine the Taliban’s credibility and foment internal Taliban division. Secondly, they’re targeting the country’s Shi’a population to catch the Taliban in the middle of a sectarian conflict.