By Nataliya Bugayova and Frederick W. Kagan with Kateryna Stepanenko

By Pieter Garicano, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. Kagan

The Taliban achieved its primary objective by taking over Afghanistan in 2021. It now presides over a weak state that is unable to address long-term socio-economic and security challenges.

By Peter Mills


This fact sheet delineates the distinctions between claims and verifiable facts regarding United States military assistance to Ukraine.

Latest from ISW

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 13, 2024

Russian forces are pursuing at least three operational-level efforts that are not mutually reinforcing but let Russian forces prioritize grinding, tactical gains on a single sector of their choice at a time. Ukrainian forces will increasingly struggle to defend against these Russian efforts the longer Ukraine lacks further US military assistance. Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi stated on April 13 that the situation in eastern Ukraine has significantly worsened in recent days and that Russian forces are conducting mechanized attacks in the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Pokrovsk (west of Avdiivka) directions.

Iran Update, April 13, 2024

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force launched a large-scale drone and missile attack from Iranian territory that targeted Israel from Iranian territory on April 13. This marks the first time Iran has targeted Israel directly from Iranian territory. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari confirmed that Iran launched drones and then missiles from Iranian territory toward Israel. The IRGC announced the start of operation “True Promise” at approximately 15:30 EST on April 13.

Africa File Special Edition: Russia’s Africa Corps Arrives in Niger. What’s Next?

Russian Africa Corps soldiers deployed to Niger on April 12, which will challenge US efforts to remain in Niger in the immediate term—undermining the West’s counterterrorism posture in West and North Africa—and create long-term opportunities for the Kremlin to create conventional and irregular threats that strategically pressure Europe. The Africa Corps contingent in Niger will likely remain small in the coming months because it lacks the capacity for a bigger deployment due to recruitment issues. This small footprint will enable Russia to strengthen its influence in Niger and consolidate its logistical network in Africa without significantly affecting the rapidly escalating al Qaeda and Islamic State insurgencies in Niger. Greater Russian influence and military presence in Niger in the coming years will create several future opportunities for the Kremlin to strategically threaten Europe with energy blackmail, migration influxes, and conventional military threats.

Special Report: Russian Strikes More Effective as Ukraine Exhausts Defenses

The exhaustion of US-provided air defenses resulting from delays in the resumption of US military aid to Ukraine combined with improvements in Russian strike tactics have led to the increasing effectiveness of Russian missile and drone strike strikes against Ukraine without a dramatic increase in the size or frequency of such strikes.