3. Strengthen local Afghan governance
The US should also help the Afghans establish and strengthen local-level governance. Indeed, America should make this the central focus of all of its efforts – financial, personnel, energy, and experts – over the next 10 years.
Currently, the Taliban are able to out-govern the inept Afghan government at nearly every turn, creating “converts” or passive supporters along the way and further eroding the influence the Afghan government is able to exert over local populations.
The Afghan people will not definitively embrace the current state unless and until they believe that the Afghan government offers better governance and a better future than the Taliban.