The Afganistan situation is an instance of the great challenge to the free world that is manifest in ideologies that are rooted in anti-modern interpretations of Islam and the application of sharia law. The Taliban which was aligned with the Al Qaeda ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 during which they massacred civilians and starved UN supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and children.
The United Nations attribute about 80% of civilian casualties to Taliban insurgents. Estimates are that there are about 25-30,000 Taliban remaining in rural pockets around Afghanistan with some Pashtun tribesman hiding in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Following the developing Trump Foreign Policy, the Taliban are horrible "losers". If the Afghanistan government is a viable one, then after 16 years of UN and American presence, its combined police and military forces should be able to irradicate or otherwise transform this radical sect because a relatively small number can impose terrorism on the population as the world knows.
President Trump wants to increase the U.S. Troop level to what end? Is it to shore up the Afghan troops to finish the job? Is that what the Afghan government wants to accomplish? Do they request assistance? Do U.S. Military and State Department Leaders believe that is a winning strategy? What about the State Department where Trump wants to reduce the budget?
Congress has every responsibility to grill the administration about this.
The same type of problem exists everywhere in the Middle East where radical Islam exists. To deny that religious extremism is a problem is a mistake. To deny the cause that is economical and education depravity is also wrong. What must the free world do to eliminate the threat of terror from extremists that are intent on projecting violence?
Is it possible to reconcile with the Taliban?
"The Taliban's ideology has been described as anti-modern, combining an "innovative form" of sharia Islamic law based on Deobandi fundamentalism and the militant Islamism and Salafi jihadism of Osama bin Laden, with Pashtun social and cultural norms known as Pashtunwali, as most Taliban are Pashtun tribesmen."