I hesitate to go against an SF officer who has been to Afghanistan when I have not. And I am sure there are plenty of good soldiers in the Afghan Army. And I know that there are areas where the security situation has improved.
But the author is actually a visiting fellow for a think tank - the Center for New American Security - that has been peddling counterinsurgency for years. To me, that's different than if he was just a soldier talking about his experiences (and I am NOT saying that he is intentionally misleading us). Obama plans to pull out of Afghanistan shortly, and it is the New York Times after all. This seems more about providing cover for the Obama administration and the warfighting doctrine that CNAS has stood behind than it does an objective assessment of the campaign. And since our intent is to only downgrade our enemies, how does that translate into winning a war? Our military and drone strikes have killed a lot of Taliban and their associates, but I don't think that translates into "winning" anything. Especially when our enemies know that we are leaving soon.
I hope the author is right and we do "win" in Afghanistan (whatever that means), regardless of who is in the White House. But instead of reading the words of a fellow for a think tank with an agenda, in a publication that also has an agenda, I would rather hear from those who have been there and don't have an incentive to mislead the American public.
Feel free to share your perspective, especially if you have been there.