It has been 16 years since former President George W. Bush announced the U.S. military would launch strikes against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and American troops are still in the country with no end to the war in sight.

"On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan," Bush said in a televised address to the nation from the White House Treaty Room on Oct. 7, 2001.

The U.S. air assaults, Bush said, would be aided by Great Britain; Canada, Australia, Germany, and France also pledged their forces, while other countries shared their intelligence with the U.S.

"We are supported by the collective will of the world," the 43rd president said.

The military action came less than a month after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, orchestrated the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

In his speech, Bush called for Americans to be patient and asked for "a lot of prayer" for the U.S. armed forces.

"In the months ahead, our patience will be one of our strengths — patience with the long waits that will result from tighter security; patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals; patience in all the sacrifices that may come," Bush said.

He concluded: "The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail."

Former President Barack Obama, who vowed to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan during his first term, acknowledged in July 2016 that it would fall on his successor to end America's longest armed conflict.

President Trump's defense secretary, Jim Mattis, said Tuesday the U.S. will move its troops closer to the front lines in Afghanistan to try to put pressure on the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal.

Mattis said the U.S. planned to send an additional 3,000 combat advisers to join Afghan forces.

The additional troops mean 14,000 U.S. combat forces are stationed in Afghanistan, with 6,800 NATO and coalition troops and 320,000 Afghan National Security Forces.