They can breach our security, but we cannot breach theirs — the vast impregnable psychological fortress in which what passes for the Pashtun mind resides. Someone accidentally burned a Koran your pals had already defaced with covert messages? Die, die, foreigners! The president of the United States issues a groveling and characteristically clueless apology for it? Die, die, foreigners! The American friend who has trained you and hired you and paid you has arrived for a meeting? Die, die, foreigners! And those are the Afghans who know us best. To the upcountry village headmen, the fellows descending from the skies in full body armor are as alien as the space invaders were to Americans in the film Independence Day.
The problem is not our strategy. A one-year surge is not the cure for what ails Afghanistan. Nor is a ten-year occupation. Perhaps a hundred years of incrementally increasing contact with the West might help? I doubt it. No, what Afghanistan needs, sadly, is about a thousand years of evolution until they become modern human beings. But we can't wait around for that. It's time for us to go. I don't want my nephew, or someone else's, or their sons, or someone's father, losing their lives in that godforsaken place.