Yes, surely there are a lot of questionable assumptions embedded in the chart, as to where links go and where they don't and what other nodes and regions might exist. But I find it hard to get past my first thought that it is not going to be influential. Those sorts of charts are produced to excite the nerd doing the research. At the business end you need simplification. An ability to simplify a complex issue is a sign that you understand that issue. If you cannot you don't.
Alexander the Great had a way of simplifying things:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alexa ... n_Knot.jpg
What is needed is a way of simplifying the conflict that everyone understands. I think a Powerpoint slide of a picture of a huge, steaming pile of shit and above the down arrow the words "We are here" would simplify it in a way everyone could understand.
Nobody understands how to win when the object of the game is "Afghanistan." I think that chart is further proof of that.
How is winning defined is part of the question. I suppose some people just prefer the martyr factory to be in Afghanistan, rather than in Manhattan.
That is the myth that we are fighting Al Qaeda - we are not fighting Arab terrorists, we are fighting Pashtuns. We would do better to deploy the Pashtuns, against whom we are now fighting, in our service against Al Qaeda. But in doing so we might actually realise we could afford to sell off our Joint Services Command and Staff College to Pontins and get the war gamers real jobs advancing British industry.