ISIS is losing Afghan territory. That means little to its victims.


KABUL, Afghanistan: According to US and Afghan authorities, the main bastion of the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan collapsed in recent weeks, after years of concerted military offensives by US and Afghan forces and, more recently, the Taliban.

President Ashraf Ghani recently claimed that the Islamic State, often known as ISIS, had been "destroyed,quot; in Nangarhar province, the group's refuge in the east. And in an interview in Kabul on Sunday, General Austin S. Miller, commander of all US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said that the loss of the group's land that he stubbornly maintained for some years would severely restrict his recruitment and planning.

But General Miller also warned that ISIS could continue to be a threat in Afghanistan even if it does not own territory, with the attention required to track the militants in motion and the remaining urban cells of the group.

"It is instructable from Iraq and Syria: when you take away a lot of land, they move to smaller cells and appear in strange places, ”said General Miller.

General Miller's reluctance to affirm any major victory over the branch is indicative of the broader advances that the Islamic State cells have made in Afghanistan, and of a long history of militant groups in Afghanistan. Recover after seemingly unsustainable losses.