A senior U.S. general says that ISIS remains a "very worrisome" presence in Afghanistan, but it is unlikely to mount an attack on the U.S. homeland because it is under strong military pressure.
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who heads the U.S. Central Command, on June 12 told reporters the extremist group "in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States."
"It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it will be hard for them to do that," he said.
McKenzie, whose Central Command has responsibility for managing U.S. military operations across the Middle East, spoke in Germany with reporters after completing an eight-day trip to Qatar, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
The AP earlier this week quoted U.S. and Afghan security officials as saying the extremist group in Afghanistan is expanding its presence, recruiting new members, and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries.
A U.S. intelligence official based in Afghanistan told AP that a recent series of attacks in the Afghan capital, Kabul, were "practice runs" for even bigger attacks in Europe and the United States.
U.S. forces in Afghanistan are battling IS fighters — a mission separate from their effort to advise and assist Afghanistan's defense forces in their battle against the Taliban militant group.
U.S. officials have been talking to Taliban representatives in Qatar, attempting to draw them into direct peace talks with the government in Kabul. The Taliban has so far refused to meet with Afghan officials, calling them puppets of the West.
IS extremists are not included in the talks, and U.S. and Afghan officials have not sought to bring them in, vowing to defeat them on the battlefield instead.
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
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Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.