A note from my reading of Ghost Wars.
People talk a lot now about how nihilistic terrorists are, that they have no strategic purpose beyond killing. Killing without purpose is dishonorable and disgusting. That pretty well describes the Afghan mission in it's first phase- shedding blood because they could.
Coll describes a cultural shift in the CIA, wherein old school Yale types retire and the new school comes in. The new school were people who spent the 60's in service, rather then in college. It was a markedly more conservative, Republican, and presumably anti-communist mindset.
I imagine these were people who kept wondering why America held back during Vietnam. You have the even darker years of the 70's, and then Reagan rides in with the sun at his back and everyone says "now we can do what should be done", and miraculously the Soviets walk into a dark alley blindfolded and are just sitting there waiting to get popped. They were meat on a plate.
Is that how they see our troops in Iraq?