The Taliban are ascendant in Afghanistan — where the number of terrorist attacks and amount of terrain they control are at their highest levels since Sept. 11, 2001.
The Taliban have yet to demonstrate an ability to hold major population centers in Afghanistan.
The Islamic State — or ISIS — is seeking a foothold in Afghanistan, and it has conducted several high-profile attacks there, but its footprint is contained to a single remote region of the country.
Terrorist attacks are on a sustained decline in neighboring Pakistan, where government and military targets are increasingly unreachable. Attacks against civilian targets continue.
The Pakistan Army has shown itself to be capable of clearing and holding territory in counterinsurgency operations, and is taking steps toward political reform in territory once held by insurgents.
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