I recently stumbled across THIS visualisation of a counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan. It really is a thing of beauty. I'm just not sure how such a complex set of dynamics could be shaped to fit coalition interests using an instrument like the United States military.
Reading through the presentation one of the first things that came to mind was the likely costs in terms of blood and treasure that would be required to pull off such a project. It also brought to mind an observation by Eric Martin over at Obsidian Wings. There seems to be a general sense of suspicion towards the idea of "social engineering" by the govenrment, or the government spending large amounts of money on its citizens; yet at the same time similar projects overseas draw little criticism. There is also in the United States the pervasive idea that the government messes up everything it touches, however when it comes to these same vast projects overseas such skepticism is largely absent.