Today’s attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan do offer proof of a still-resilient insurgency. They do cause a certain amount of angst among Afghans. They entail human casualties, too, even if largely to the attackers themselves.
But we must think strategically and not fall prey to an obvious Taliban propaganda ploy. The attacks were on balance of only modest effectiveness (at most), and were suppressed almost entirely by Afghan forces.
They were the first of this type in Kabul in half a year. They would be hard to stop frankly in a Western city, requiring as they did only small arms for the most part, so we should hardly be surprised that they can’t always be prevented. They are an attempt by the enemy to use limited means to maximize psychological shock value.
ISIS is also keen to target Italy now because it’s one of the few major European countries it hasn’t yet struck. They’re hoping to inspire violence there so that they can say, in effect, 'we’ve already attacked your capitals in London, in Paris, and in Barcelona, and now we’ve attacked Rome. There’s nowhere we can’t reach.'