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Analysis: A ‘Tired’ Taliban talking point


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FDD's Long War Journal

Bill Roggio

September 19, 2020

For the past decade and a half, American politicians, military leaders, and reporters have claimed that the Taliban is “tired,” “desperate,” “war weary” – despite the fact the Taliban has sparked “near-record violence” in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

That did not stop President Donald Trump from adding to the tired narrative when he repeated the “tired” canard on Sept. 18.

“We’re dealing very well with the Taliban,” Trump said, according to Reuters. “They’re very tough, they’re very smart, they’re very sharp, but you know it’s been 19 years and even they are tired of fighting, in all fairness.”

The “even” in the last sentence is telling as it is an admission that the U.S. has exhausted itself in Afghanistan. Trump has been so desperate to leave Afghanistan that he signed a withdrawal deal with the Taliban that legitimized the group and delegitimized the Afghan government – and absolved the Taliban for its role in sheltering Al Qaeda both before and after 9/11.

Trump’s statement that the Taliban is “tired” is nothing new. He said the same thing in early Feb. 2019, and again in late Feb. 2020.

However, Trump is merely following the time-honored tradition of declaring the Taliban to be exhausted of the fight.


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Generation Jihad Ep. 27 – Counting Al Qaeda

Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio

September 23, 2020

Senior U.S. officials claim there are fewer than 200 al Qaeda members in Afghanistan. Hosts Bill Roggio and Tom Joscelyn explain why that estimate, like all others before it, isn’t credible. The U.S. has consistently downplayed al Qaeda’s presence for more than a decade.

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