There are many wars in Afghanistan not only the one against the Taliban. The country is composed of different ethnic groups (that speak different languages), families and fractions that follow their own interest. In Afghanistan there are over 34,000 villages, 398 districts, and 34 provinces of diverse people, some of them in conflict. Criminal activity, corruption and opium production are additional burden. Afghanistan is twined in a conflict knot that cannot be simply untwisted by the Western military and political efforts.
Afghanistan cannot be treated by a single formula alone. The right strategy for the Afghan war is one that recognizes there can be no single strategy. The strategy must be flexible and adaptive is the opinion of Ganesh Sitaraman, a research fellow at the Counterinsurgency Training Center Afghanistan.
If the conflicts in Afghanistan are internal and multiple how the Western strategy of winning the "hearts and minds" of the tribal people can be achieved?
The meddling in another's conflict is a dangerous decision; you are always outsider in the eyes of combating sides. To take the wrong side is quite possible. Besides the Afghans are proud people with a long history of foreign mistrust.
The military efforts seem already futile. For example, in a recent analysis, Matt Waldman, from the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University, argued that with over 200 soldiers dead, Britain must realise that building schools and hospitals just won't be enough to win the Afghan people's trust. He thinks that the focus should be on building a functioning, just and democratic state; it requires rigorous, determined and long-term efforts, combined with vast improvements in the delivery of aid.
Meanwhile the Afghani police and soldiers must become responsible for the fate of their own country. When that happens, we will know we have won not one war but all Afghani wars.