Anybody remember a place called Yugoslavia? What if "Afghans" no more want an "Afghanistan" than "Yugoslavs" wanted a "Yugoslavia"? Should outsiders force them to be a single nation anyway?
I'm not aware that this is an issue. It is an issue in Iraq. If the country were partitioned, the Sunnis and the Shi'ites could be protected from each other's radicals.
The article notes, "Those who backed the NATO side in Afghanistan will suffer political persecution once NATO forces leave...." Well, duh. Any time you invade someone else's land, for whatever reason, there will be those who collaborate with you and those who oppose you. If you win, the collaborators get to persecute the opponents. If you lose, the collaborators suffer. Gee, who coulda guessed.
There is no military solution to this problem -- some bright guy once observed that we can't solve a problem with the same sort of thinking that created it.
The problem is unacceptable. Because the U.S. needs to show that it can be trusted so that it will always have no trouble finding people to collaborate with it, without having to lean on them in ways that would interfere with U.S. soft power.
So it needs to solve the problem - and the solution is force. Just as an effective police force protects us from criminals, the people of Afghanistan need to be safe from the Taliban.
No "thinking" on our part got us into the problem. Osama bin Laden, by organizing the 9/11 attacks, and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, by sheltering him, got us into the problem.
The solution to the problem is to ensure there will never be another 9/11, because none of the sort of people who might think of causing one are running around loose anywhere. The people who are at large will be those who are in full agreement with ordinary Americans that freedom and peace are what is best for everyone's prosperity.
Of course, this does assume that we sincerely want equal rights for everyone, and we don't intend to steal the resources from certain countries and inflict repressive regimes on them - because if that were the case, indeed, the problem would be perpetuated, not fixed. But given that the detractors of the U.S. have tended to be apologists for really repressive regimes like Stalin's Russia and Mao's China, I've been convinced in the past that the U.S., though not perfect, is basically the shining democracy it presents itself as.
The trouble is, though, that it's people have democratically decided, after Vietnam, that they don't want another draft. I'm worried that this is going to turn out as badly as the impairment in patriotic ardor that France experienced after World War I - which led to it fallling so quickly in World War II.