One side is fighting a war that has been going on for 15 years, and it is weary of it. The other side is fighting a war that has been going on for 1,400 years, and is resolved not to give up. Even if temporary gains are made, the jihadis will not be eradicated from Afghanistan. The Taliban can afford to play a waiting game, knowing that the Americans will leave sooner or later. If Trump really wanted to weaken the Taliban, he could start a propaganda campaign to challenge its premises — but that would be “Islamophobic.”
“Taliban condemn Trump’s decision on Afghanistan war, vow ‘jihad’ will go on,” Reuters, August 22, 2017:
…”Instead of continuing of war in Afghanistan, Americans should have thought about withdrawing their soldiers from Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement issued hours after Trump’s televised speech on U.S. policy in Afghanistan and South Asia.
Mujahid said “as long as there is even one American solder in our country”, the Islamist insurgents would “continue our jihad”.