Taliban militants breached a northern Afghan army base, killing over 170 local soldiers eight days after the U.S. dropped its largest conventional bomb in eastern Afghanistan targeting ISIS fighters in the region. This attack, the largest of its kind since 2001, highlights how disconnected the priorities of the U.S. and the priorities of Afghanistan are. The 1,500 troops in Afghanistan who are directly engaged in counter terrorism mainly target al Qaeda and ISIS fighters, which are estimated to number in the hundreds whereas the Taliban numbers in the thousands to tens of thousands, and have gained territory in the last few years. Many have critiqued the U.S. attack as not targeting the real threat of the Taliban. I would tie this back to our discussions in class of how the fighting the Taliban is not seen as a major priority for the U.S. because the Taliban is not perceived as posing as great of a threat to the United States as al Qaeda or ISIS. In the near future it will be important for the U.S. to come up with a coherent list of priorities and strategies to address them if any of these groups are to be defeated.

Elsa