I find it amusing, in a completely off-kilter way, that the US military machine is finding out what we've known for a long time:
Afghanistan is hard.
I've got friends and former classmates who are either there, in the field, as I type this, or who have had multiple tours through the meat grinder that is Afghanistan.
Now that the US is withdrawing from Iraq and sending more troops BACK to Afghanistan to fight in a fight that it unanimously declared complete before charging off to Iraq in the first place - when it was far from won - it is learning some hard lessons.
Then again, the warnings of the pundits from before the initial invasion are not so much scare tactics now. The country that beat up the British Empire and the Soviet machine is continuing to try and beat up the rest of the armies sent there.
I don't know the answer to the bigger questions, but I do find it amusing in a vaguely perverted sense that what non-US military forces have been saying for years is being realized anew by the present commanders. It's hard.