While many greeted the strategy presented by President Trump in August with what it is best described as a lukewarm embrace, at least one US general officer, tasked with breaking the war’s 16-year stalemate, believes that things are about to change for the better.

U.S. commanders on the ground are now free to target Taliban networks and revenue sources, as well as support local Afghan forces on the ground in ways that weren’t available to them prior.

It’s only just begun,” said Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch in a briefing piped into the Pentagon from Kabul. “This will be a very long winter for the Taliban.”

Bunch described the new strategy as “taking the gloves off,” and said it has dramatically shifted the momentum in favor of Afghan forces in the past few months.