The issue of ISIS and the Taliban has become a complex problem that everyone interprets according to their own political and economic objectives. The Taliban attempt to deceive foreign powers by claiming that their primary goal is to combat ISIS, and that without doing so, ISIS will take control of Afghanistan and spread to other nations. The Taliban‘s representatives abroad exaggerate the threat of ISIS in order to conceal the Taliban‘s negative aspects. Additionally, some opportunistic groups in the West take advantage of regional conflicts and use the threat of ISIS to scare countries into paying money to the Taliban, thus enabling their next crisis-inducing agendas.
Since the Taliban took control of Kabul, events up to the present day related to the war with ISIS can be divided into three categories, according to media reports and internal observers: 1) the Taliban‘s war with groups identified as ISIS; 2) the Taliban‘s war with various resistance groups, including former government soldiers, former Mujahedeen, the National Resistance Front, the Freedom Fighters Front, the Freedom Front, and others; 3) internal conflicts between Taliban factions to gain control of power centers and infiltrate the government. Although the Taliban‘s media suppression makes it difficult to accurately determine the number of wars, unofficial reports indicate that the number of attacks on anti–Taliban fronts has been significantly higher than the attacks of ISIS.
The Taliban swiftly ascribes any war or attack in Afghanistan to ISIS without pause, and seeks to accomplish several goals through this action: 1) It appears that the danger of ISIS is very grave, and the world should provide more funds to the Taliban; 2) There are no other factions battling against the Taliban, so regional and global countries should not take other political and military forces in Afghanistan seriously and interact with them; 3) There is no considerable internal divergence among the Taliban, and all their divisions obey their Amir al–Mu‘minin with absolute loyalty, resulting in a unified and powerful group.
Those who overstate the significance of ISIS and overlook the intricate realities of Afghanistan are searching for the Taliban‘s propaganda and advocates, obscuring the Afghanistan crisis to accomplish their political and economic objectives. It is of no consequence to them that hundreds of thousands of Afghan personnel and forces have been compelled to leave the country, millions are attempting to find an exit, millions of girls have been denied education, tens of thousands of women have been deprived of their sources of income, and the rise in ethnic tensions has generated a suitable atmosphere for violent and hazardous wars.
The Taliban‘s claims of ISIS‘s power in Afghanistan are not accurate, as ISIS is a Salafi–jihadi group and does not have the social support of the majority of Afghans, who are Hanafi, Shia, or Ismaili. The cells of ISIS found in various parts of the country have often joined the group due to the Taliban‘s oppression, discrimination, and ethnic suppression. The Taliban are using ISIS as a means to further their repression and gain more money and privileges, making it a commercial project for them.