Ah, but this is not about winning a war, its about hearts and minds. I have not come across anyone winning a war of hearts and minds ever.
Our biggest enemies are not our foes, its our enlightened leaders and their conviction that given enough kindness and treasure all opposition will fold. War is a very very bloody undertaking, our soldiers train for that, it is their only reason for existing, asking them to do otherwise is a total waste of resources and lives.
I remain convinced that our strategy will lead to a "Dunkirk". I have no idea how we would manage to extract our forces and equiptment when the time comes. We have serious problems getting equiptment and supplies in now never mind getting out. There is no coastline, an air bridge is dependant on doggy arrangements which should things go wrong might be curtailed.
Having a look at a regional map is all it takes to see the dangers, Iran to the west and north west, Pakistan to the south and east, Turkmenstan to the north with Usbekistan. Our access to Afganistan is due to the permission of questionable allies who are all of the same religion to those we are confronting in Afgan, our chances of "success" is marginal, history is not favourable, and the expectations of our leaders is fanciful. What is the choice on offer, a stable westernised country or an Islamic state, for a muslim that is a no brainer, the thought of it would be enough for a muslim to lose his life.
Whatever the tactics on the ground the stratagy is completely wrong for a successful conclusion, that is, if we know the real the stratagy. Can we take it as a given that we know the real objectives?
"Hearts and minds" is one of those vacuous expressions - coined, I think, during the Vietnam war, to express an ill-thought out strategy which never really worked. Furthermore, while the short-form description is a "war", it is a counter-insurgency, with the added complication of nation-building - an altogether different prospect to a conventional war.
Nor does the selective use of history help. In the more recent history, the province of Helmand was prior to the Communist coup a sophisticated, wealthy and self-sustaining society. The idea that we are dealing with primitive throwbacks is entirely false. The objective is to rebuild that society, in which context historical comparisons with previous campaigns are false. We are not there as occupiers but as part of an international team seeking to rebuild society and bring peace and prosperity, then with the intention of leaving.
The difficulty we confront is that this is not primarily a military venture - it requires the interaction of military effort with reconstruction and other activities. As long as we look at the military effort in isolation, and that effort is not fully integrated into the broader endeavor, we have problems.