On Oct. 7, 2001, U.S. and British planes began striking Taliban positions, beginning Operation Enduring Freedom. The combination of Afghan allies, CIA teams, American airpower and Special Forces “horse soldiers” broke the Taliban’s army in a matter of months. Yet 17 years later, America’s longest war still grinds on today — mostly on autopilot. We have spent perhaps $2 trillion and lost nearly 2,400 servicemen in Afghanistan, yet we are losing the war.
The Taliban controls more territory than at any time since 2002. The U.S. government claims that 44 percent of Afghan districts are controlled or contested by the Taliban, however Independent analysts like the Long War Journal say the figure is 59 percent.