Amir Taheri has an interesting piece in the NY Post about some of the commonly accepted "wisdom" about Afghanistan. He paints a much different picture than many doomsayers. It is still a nightmare to contemplate, but he points out it is not as ungovernable as often described.
Myth No. 2: There's no Afghan nation -- only a hodgepodge of tribes and ethnic communities with little or nothing in common.
Again, the truth is different.
Yes, Afghanistan is composed of 18 different communities marked by ethnic, linguistic and religious differences. But ask any Afghan who he is, and he won't hesitate to reply: an Afghan!
The national identity has taken shape over 300 years -- after all, as a state, Afghanistan is older than America, Germany and Italy. It is also one of the oldest Muslim nation-states.
None of this changes how difficult it will be to turn the tide there, but it does point out the hope that we can change things.