Christian Parenti, who has written extensively on Afghanistan for the Nation, is interviewed by Bill Moyers on PBS (video, with transcript).
...BILL MOYERS: How do you explain the fact that Americans don't seem to American policymakers don't seem to grasp that?
CHRISTIAN PARENTI: I think it has to do with a number of things. One is that people cycle through these war zones on one year contracts and their goal is primarily the advancement of their career, secondarily the advancement of the larger project. And it's usually not good for your career to say, "Hey, the larger project isn't going well. Sorry to be the jerk in the organization, but I disagree with the scenario that's being laid here."...
...BILL MOYERS: What is the endgame to the American NATO in Afghanistan?
CHRISTIAN PARENTI: The optimistic state department types and who pass through for one year have a version of the endgame that I think is highly unrealistic which is the originally story we were all told. That Afghanistan turns into a functioning capitalist democracy with a developed economy. More realistically people talk quietly about negotiating with the Taliban and letting the Taliban into the government. And then a sort of third version of things is a return to the collapse and open civil war that marked life in Afghanistan during the 1990s.