Broken, but Not Defeated: An Examination of State-Led Operations Against Islamic State Khorasan in Afghanistan and Pakistan (2015-2018)   [open pdf - 13MB]

From the Executive Summary: "Afghanistan and Pakistan became the home base for one of the Islamic State's most dangerous and lethal affiliates--the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK)--approximately five years ago. In the half-decade since ISK's official formation in January 2015, the group has been consistently subjected to a multitude of state-led operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Despite recent indications that ISK may not possess the same level of potency as it did in years prior to 2019, [...] it may be too early to interpret these developments as indicative of the group's complete operational collapse. However, as this report demonstrates, intense targeting of ISK in both Afghanistan and Pakistan has resulted in substantial losses for the group over the past four years, which is likely to reshape its strategic and operational behavior in the future. [...] Despite prevalent operations against ISK, the lack of a systematic review of targeting tactics against the group means that specific outcomes of these operations and their efficacy remain unclear. A few questions remain unanswered: 'what is the nature and level of manpower losses incurred by ISK in various campaigns against the group? How have operations altered the level of the ISK threat, and what do they reveal about ISK's militant base? How have these operations affected ISK's operational capacity?' This report draws on open-source materials to provide an overview of the diversity and magnitude of state-led efforts against ISK in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

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Combating Terrorism Center at West Point: https://www.ctc.usma.edu/
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