Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis writes that his deployments to Afghanistan revealed to him a reality that “bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.”
I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.
…I saw the incredible difficulties any military force would have to pacify even a single area of any of those provinces; I heard many stories of how insurgents controlled virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a U.S. or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base.
I saw little to no evidence the local governments were able to provide for the basic needs of the people. Some of the Afghan civilians I talked with said the people didn’t want to be connected to a predatory or incapable local government.
From time to time, I observed Afghan Security forces collude with the insurgency.
Update: Matthew Hoh responds here.