Brookings, in this article, has called the situation correctly on Afghanistan, which is a place that defies conventional military measures but which needs to be brought to heel, along with Pakistan with imaginative policies.
As Dr Alf will know, India once used to control Afghanistan, yet under Modi, their disappointing leader, they create trouble on their border with China and do nothing to stabilise Afghanistan. At the same time, India gets much of the BPO/IT related outsourcing business, call centre contracts and software development work from Western countries whose business leaders are not prepared to train anyone. The quid pro quo must be Indian troops in Afghanistan to clear out the terrorist infestations helped by American air power.
Security should be handed over to Erik Prince, the former Special Forces man, who runs the newly renamed XE, formerly Blackwater, using his men to guard bases and towns. Drones and Terminator robots should be used to deal with terrorists on the move and Pakistan which funds the Taliban needs to be effectively neutralized. The Waziristan tribal regions, where the Taliban hide, need similar treatment.
Uranium and other minerals exist in Afghanistan and these should be sequestered to help defray the costs of war and occupation.
Earlier measures in Afghanistan have been too mealy-mouthed and too telegraphed for fear of causing civilian casualties.
If the Americans want to win then they have to be more robust.
The flow of poppy crop, which turns into heroin, can be curtailed but it needs political will and imaginative policies.