Islamic State strengthens in Afghanistan.
As US-led Afghan peace talks proceed slowly and the Taliban battle Afghan troops around the country, reports that Islamic State (IS) is growing in strength further complicate the prospects for peace.
- The Taliban determination to continue fighting diverts US and Afghan military resources from IS.
- Russia will make practical preparations for the long-feared emergence of a direct IS threat to Central Asia.
- Al-Qaida's already fading influence as global jihad leader will be further reduced if IS consolidates its position in Afghanistan.