If we pullout, the terrorists will fill the vacuum? No way.
U.S. officials are acknowledging that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has spread into Afghanistan, where President Obama is on track to draw down all but 1,000 U.S. troops by the end of the year.
“The expansion of ISIL into the region is of great concern,” said Pentagon spokesman Marine Maj. Bradlee Avots in an email, using the administration’s preferred acronym for ISIS. “We remain committed to our objectives of ensuring that Afghanistan or Pakistan does not become a safe haven from which violent extremists can attack the U.S. or our allies.”
“We believe this group is nascent, relatively small, but maintains aspirations for the region,” added Army Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for the coalition’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
The acknowledgment came after the Pentagon confirmed it had conducted a drone strike in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province earlier this week, killing former Taliban member and Guantanamo Bay detainee Abdul Rauf, who had become an ISIS leader and recruiter. Seven of his associates were also killed.