We didn't know enough and we still don't know enough," he said. "Most of us - me included - had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years," he said.
The major attacks in Kabul and regular assassinations in 2011 show the Taliban's capacity to act with impunity even in the centre of international power in the country. But the more subtle reality is that the Taliban and other forces now have the capacity to dictate the terms of the war. The US and its coalition allies can claim to occupy far more territory, not least in Kandahar and Helmand provinces; but the paramilitary forces maintain their power by avoiding confrontation and operating on a different, non-territorial plane.
openDemocracy: Afghanistan, the regional complex, October 6, 2011
Meanwhile.... NY Times: In G.O.P. Race, Foreign Policy Is a Footnote, October 7, 2011