A dutch Journalist has done the actual investigating, and proven the western "Intelligence" to be a total sham. The Taliban doesn't exist as this ever present threat; Afghani society simply isn't anywhere near that unified. Even much of the Haqqani network has fallen apart.
Nevertheless, it is nonstop tribal warfare; a thing which no outsider should have anything to do with (and could not possibly make any better).
Like the Romans, take hostages & educate them in your ways and subsidize the local chieftains. It looks much more voluntary on the surface, of course, given our propaganda is infinitely better than either Roman or British imperial propaganda.