From the article:
The fundamental problem for Afghanistan is the endemic corruption. This makes it very difficult to run the country effectively when any law or regulation can be bypassed with a large enough bribe. This makes it possible for the drug gangs to produce and export most of the world supply of heroin. The Taliban sustains itself by providing security for drug gang operations as well as extorting and stealing cash and goods at every opportunity. The corruption stems from the tribalism which fell out of use in the West, China and elsewhere centuries ago. But in Afghanistan is persists and it is an inefficient and, for the people involved, expensive and deadly historical artifact to live with.
This is really the fundamental question for Western Civilization. I have been struggling with this for several years. I was very supportive of George W's choice to go into Iraq. I was very supportive of the ideas of promoting freedom as expressed by folks like Natan Sharansky. In retrospect, I am less supportive of this. We have spent blood and treasure to try and make a difference and it seems to be an endless pit.
I am becoming more convinced that there is little we can do to change this barbarian, tribal culture. Having said that, I wonder what am I supposed to do? Do I just get entirely out of these lands and let them fester and multiply and only get stronger to create problems for Western culture in the future? That doesn't sit well with me, yet what we are doing now isn't working either.
What to do?