Taliban vs. ISIS: The Islamic State Is Doomed in Afghanistan

Five reasons why the Islamic State can't prevail.

Fifth, Pakistan, which has consistently supported, if not coordinated and controlled the Afghan Taliban, will never allow their ally to be defeated and replaced by the Islamic State, which is also an enemy of Pakistan. Pakistan has no control or leverage over IS and it would not serve Pakistan’s goals in Afghanistan in any way for the Taliban to be replaced by IS. Pakistan has proven that it has the ability and will to sustain the Taliban, keeping them afloat for nearly two decades now, often against the odds of fighting the United States. It should be no big deal for them to keep the Taliban afloat against the Islamic State.

All in all, then, the Taliban are likely to crush the Islamic State in battles between the two Islamist groups in Afghanistan. Where this leaves the Taliban in its fight against the Afghan government, on the other hand, is still a matter of dispute.

Akhilesh Pillalamarri is an assistant editor at the National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter:@AkhiPill.