You cannot win a war if you are not fighting an army.
The Taliban are not an army.
They are a collection of unemployed goat herders, Islamist Jihadi's, Drug Smugglers and Opium Growers, Afghani Nationalists, foreign Jihadi's, Saudi Arabian Wahabbist Jihadi's, Pakistan Jihadi's, Pakistani security assets and the relatives of Afghans killed as collateral damage.
You cant beat the Taliban as they will not fight. They are not one force.
You can only defeat an army that will engage in battle with you.
Therefore you cannot also fight a war to defeat the Taliban.
The Taliban are never going to go away, as they cannot be defeated in battle.
What the Western liberals do not understand is that the Taliban see Afghanistan as THEIR country and they do not want Westerners coming in and taking over the place, killing people and imposing a US puppet government to ensure the oil pipelines are protected for the US oil corporations.
Just like the scene in Avatar where one of the characters says 'these guys cannot be bought off with diet coke and slimfit jeans'.
Thats also the same as the Afghani's.
They also do not want to become a consumerist society.
They want to remain as they are, a myriad communities that are united only by their opposition to the US and NATO occupation.
The afghans can live alongside each other with an uneasy truce, but they all declare war on the occupier - be they Soviet or US.
Afghans see the creation of a national state structure as an encroachment upon their traditional tribal powers.
Therefore both the Afghan state and the US occupation must be resisted.
These things of nationalism, love of liberty, tradition, religion etc are things liberals no longer understand. Therefore they misjudge their meaning and power for those that do regard such things as important.
Thats why the Liberals have sent British troops to die in Afghanistan and in Iraq, because they really do not understand the NATIONALIST sentiments that underlines such insurgencys.
The Taliban are not some occupying army, they are Afghanis.
If they ever fought a battle as the Taliban, eg they wore a uniform, fought in formation and assembled at the same time on the same battlefield - then they would be a greasy spot in a desert crater within about thirty seconds.
I doubt the battle would even get the past the point of the first 'Alla.......' and thats it.
Reload, ready for the next war.
But they are not that stupid as to engage in battle.
As soon as UK and US troops seek to hold positions in towns then the Taliban will merely strike at their road supply lines and then begin to undertake a campaign of urban terrorism with insurgency attacks and IED's in the countryside directed at specific logistics and vulnerable pinch points.
This will drag on and on, with a slow steady trickle of soldiers blood for years and years.
Better to pull out and let the Afghans impose an Afghan solution.
If the Afghans want a democracy then they will have to fight and die for it.
Its their country.