U.S. Faces Rising ISIS Threat…

In a recent appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” retired U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie voiced concerns over the escalating threat ISIS poses to the United States, attributing the intensification to the current administration’s foreign policies.

During the discussion, when questioned by Martha Raddatz about the implications of a recent ISIS terrorist attack in Moscow, McKenzie echoed his successor at CENTCOM, General Michael Kurilla’s assessment. Kurilla had previously warned that ISIS-K could potentially target U.S. and Western interests abroad within six months, with minimal warning.

McKenzie affirmed Kurilla’s evaluation, highlighting the reduced pressure on ISIS-K due to policy changes, which has enabled the group to rebuild strength, plan, and organize without significant interference. This shift, according to McKenzie, compromises the safety of the U.S., likening the strategic position to being on the defensive in an away game rather than maintaining control.

The conversation then shifted towards the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, a move criticized for its execution and subsequent effects. McKenzie suggested that maintaining a U.S. and NATO troop presence could have continued to suppress ISIS activities in Afghanistan, thereby preventing the group from posing a significant threat to the U.S. homeland.

McKenzie lamented the current lack of surveillance and strike capabilities in Afghanistan, which has allowed ISIS to expand unchallenged. He emphasized the strategic failure in preventing ISIS from establishing international connections necessary for conducting external attacks.

Concluding, McKenzie warned of the growing likelihood of ISIS attempting attacks on the U.S. and its allies, a direct consequence of the diminished counterterrorism pressure following the withdrawal from Afghanistan. This, he cautioned, should be a signal to expect further attempts against U.S. interests and those of its partners globally.