StrategyPage notes that the Taliban admits defeat. In a manner of speaking. The Taliban is no longer a major military/political force in Afghanistan. They became a less threatening terrorist organization. This is what victory looks like – incrementally weaking the enemy and reducing their capabilities.

Terrorism is a step back for the Taliban, and an admission that they have failed, in the last two years, in their effort to march into Afghanistan and take over. Suicide bombing is suicidal in more ways than one. Most of the victims, so far, have been Afghans, and this has turned many likeminded (Islamic conservative) Afghans against the Taliban. But at this point, the Taliban have no choice. They must either step back, or step aside. By choosing to proceed with a terror campaign, they are also selecting extinction.

The Taliban has been unable to retake Afghanistan. NATO Winter and Spring offenses repeatedly pre-empted and defeated the Taliban Spring Offense. The Taliban could not even mount an offensive this year.

The Americans and Afghans gathered excellent intel on the Taliban commanders and systemically destroyed them. Many Taliban units are disrupted or disabled. They can’t use many alternative tactics either. There is not enough material or explosives to plant a large number of IEDs on the same scale as Iraq. Nor has the Taliban been unable to find a large number of volunteer suicide bombers.

They won’t be able to launch a terrorist campaign at the level of intensity needed to topple a government. It’s more likely they will launch a handful a month and kill just enough Muslims to destroy their legitimacy.

The Taliban, these days, are more like drug lords. They charge protection fees for Opium farming and smuggling as well as other criminal activity.