Last week, I asked a friend what the Afghan war would look like had we gone small in the fall of 2001 — that is, not tried to run the whole country, but instead stuck with a regime protection force in Kabul. It is always better to go with the local flow, instead of trying to change cultures. (Cultural change doesn’t flow easily from the barrel of a gun.) After all, the Afghan government traditionally has controlled Kabul and its outskirts. Beyond that, it was a process of negotiation with regional leaders.