"Stuck in the Mud" is the title of a blog post by Writer Michael Yon. The issue is the Afghan War at the level of the individual Soldier or Marine.
War is usually visualized as being composed of Tactical, Operational and Strategic levels. At the strategic level we have the President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, and people of that ilk deciding the big questions, which revolve around what we will do before the 2014 US/NATO withdrawal, and after. As some say, matching Ends, Ways and Means.♠
The operational level is big unit employment.
The tactical level is small units, although in a big war (e.g.; World War II), Army wise, it can include corps level units. It is at the tactical level that Michael Yon has been embedded. At that level he has noticed the inability of the Department of Defense to adapt to the environment. For example, the Army's insistence on flying MEDEVAC helicopters with Red Crosses and thus unarmed. The Taliban doesn't respect the Red Cross. It does no good. Insistence on the Red Cross sometimes delays medical evacuations. This does not make good "tactical" sense.
It does sound like we have lost our way. Read the whole thing.
Related is a book, Mud: A Military History, by C.E. Wood.
Regards — Cliff
♠ My formulation is "Matching objectives, threats and opportunities in a resource constrained environment".