Key Points

“Asim Umar, his staff, his courier to [Al Qaeda emir Ayman] Zawahiri, and even his wife, were embedded with the Taliban, in the Taliban’s heartland,” a military officer said. “When you want to sell a split between the Taliban and Al Qaeda, these facts become inconvenient.”

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Companies operating in countries with highly corrupt governments that have no checks run the risk of getting entangled with terrorist organizations and malign actors. In the case of Afghanistan, profit-motivated corruption of these enterprises allegedly resulted in the death of hundreds of American service members.

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Now is not the time for a victory lap. Nor is it time for threats of another troop withdrawal. Now is the time for new thinking about an old problem. Trump started the process with a surprisingly bold airstrike. He further defended American interests by firmly asserting America’s red line in the face of an Iranian response. But this is far from over. Under new leadership, the Quds Force will be getting back to business, sowing mayhem across the Middle East.

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Should that happen, the world’s leading jihadis will be a giant step closer to realizing their dreams. And a rich and powerful despot in Tehran, now in the twilight of his life, will be consoled by the knowledge that his favorite comrade-in-arms did not die in vain.

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And let there be no doubt: They want one.

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Events

EVENT: Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate

October 21, 2019 | 12:00

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