The British couldn't do it, the Soviets couldn't do it; I doubt that we will accomplish much by bombing rocks in Afghanistan.
Let's face it, even if we sent dozens of divisions (which we don't possess) over there, we might run the rats down the hole temporarily at great cost. We know that the political will is against leaving any number of troops there for any appreciable length of time. We know it and the enemy there knows it, so if we ran the rats into their holes for a while, they'd just wait us out and return after we went home. So, knowing that we aren't going to send anything like many divisions over there, there is even less point in sending a relatively small number of forces into that conflict. It's all down to face-saving now; I don't see how any of the major policy-makers can realistically see it any other way.
Joe Biden has got it right when he points out that there are more Taliban in Pakistan right now that in Afghanistan. Knowing this, repeat, knowing this, what's the point in shoring up Afghanistan? Unless we go into Pakistan in force as well, which would be politically impossible and militarily impractical and highly costly, our efforts in Afghanistan are wasted. As soon as we leave Afghanistan, there's going to be another "surge" -- this time the Taliban.
One thing many Americans don't understand is that the Taliban is multi-national. It consists of a network of insurgents from many different Muslim countries. Afghanistan is a major battlefield but not the only one. We might be better served if we were to expend our resources on Taliban concentrations of power throughout their area of influence rather than bombing rocks in Afghanistan.
When did any general in history ever ask for fewer troops??
I fail to see how bombing rocks in Afghanistan is going to enhance so-called Homeland Security. From what I've read, all the planning and much of the training that was used to stage the 9-11 attacks took place over in Indonesia/southern Philippines.
It's only my opinion, but I think Homeland Security would be better served by bolstering our defenses on the borders and ports of entry in North America, including enhanced electronic surveillance (but I don't want to go too far into that one for fear of starting a big stink).
The Afghans want anything that will let them go about their lives. They'll go along with whomever will do something for them who is standing right in front of them. We see a certain amount of stuff on network and cable news about how civil affairs operations will win the hearts of the Afghan people, you know, building schools, educating females, etc. This is all eye-wash; it's to make the civilians back home feel better about US involvement. When the Taliban rolls into town, it all goes the other way. We try to see Afghan society through our own eyes. That's a major mistake. I'm not sure the average Afghan wants, for example, his females educated (males lose control over educated females; not something that most middle-eastern males favor). They've been living in mud huts for thousands of years; trying to provide a wood-frame tri-level for every family would see about as much success as such misguided civil affairs programs. Just send them a container shipload of corrugated steel roofing panels, a goodbye note, and they'll be grateful for years.