I think Frank Rich nails it when he says in his latest New York Times column that the US needs to extract itself from Afghanistan. Rich points out that those who are most loudly advocating sending more troops to that country (namely, John McCain and his allies) were also the people who pushed the invasion of Iraq -- a diversion that forced Afghanistan onto the back-burner, which is why we are still there today.
"Afghanistan is not Iraq," Rich writes. "It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention." And the oft-skipped over reality in Iraq is the much-touted "surge" only found some success because a) the sectarian killing had pretty much succeeded by then in purging the Sunni from Shia areas and vice-versa and b) the Sunni rose up in Anbar province because they'd had enough of the insurgents killing of Muslims.
President Obama needs to begin the withdrawal of American military personnel from Afghanistan. The US has been there long enough, the Afghan government is corrupt, our military needs a rest and our treasury cannot afford the price. The fallout will be severe from the the Right, but we are not going to win this conflict in the conventional sense. That already happened just weeks into the start of hostilities. I can see no goal that we can possibly achieve by staying. Let's declare victory and bring the troops home. The president needs to start securing the peace that his Nobel promises.