The Taliban had called for special prayers prior to President Donald Trump's Monday night speech, hoping he would announce complete withdrawal in Afghanistan, members of the group told NBC News.
Trump ended up taking the opposite path, promising a continued military presence that centered around empowering his generals and squeezing neighboring Pakistan, a U.S. ally that has often been accused of harboring and enabling terror groups.
Monday's speech angered many in Pakistan, with several lawmakers denouncing Trump for calling them out on the world stage. But the Taliban claimed that despite Trump going against their wishes they were happy to keep fighting in America's longest war.
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"If we could fight this war for 16 years with limited resources against the world's well-equipped armies, we are happy to continue this fight against the enemy," one of the commanders told NBC News, who, like many of the militants, spoke on condition of anonymity.