WASHINGTON — Pentagon leaders say the Taliban needs to surrender the vast majority of Afghanistan it controls or it will "face serious consequences," sources confirmed today.
"Make no mistake, if the Taliban does not give up all the territory it currently controls, we will have no choice but to do the same thing we've been doing for the past 17 years plus, like, 10 percent," said Patrick M. Shanahan, deputy secretary of defense.
The call for Taliban members to put down their arms and begin negotiating a truce came just days after the insurgent group took over a number of major cities, executed a daring raid on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and destroyed various government schools and office buildings in the countryside.
With its latest offensive, the Taliban has become more powerful than the U.S.-backed Afghan government in more than three-quarters of the country, although American officials said one Afghan pilot just figured out how to fly a Blackhawk helicopter so those losses should be reversed any day now.
"We're making incredible progress here," said Lt. Col. Billy Grogin, an Army spokesman, for the 30,000th time over the past 14 years that he has spoken of Afghanistan as he's risen in the ranks of military public affairs.
Officials added that its most recent offensive on drug labs and poppy fields is denying the Taliban its most important source of revenue, which will surely lead them to bargain with an ineffective and dysfunctional governmental organization, in addition to Afghan officials.
When reached for comment, Taliban officials told reporters they were seriously considering giving up a fight they had been waging for the past 30 years against fellow Afghans and foreign invaders if the United States continued to bomb their compounds from an altitude of 25,000 feet.