NEWSWEEK: What is flawed about our approach in Afghanistan?
Thomas Johnson: It's the same problem the Soviets had in their engagement from 1979 to 1989 … The United States, just as the Soviet Union, controls all the urban areas and especially provincial capitals and Kabul. But this is a rural counterinsurgency, just as the mujahedin's conflict against the Soviets was also a rural insurgency. And you don't win a rural insurgency from Kabul or Jalalabad or Kandahar. You win a rural insurgency by maintaining a presence and insulating the villages in the rural areas. And that's what we don't do—unlike what the mujahedin did in their battle with the Soviets and unlike what the Taliban are presently doing in Afghanistan today, where they operate on the village level on a 7/24 basis, either intimidating or winning the allegiance of the Afghan people. That's what it takes to win an insurgency and that's what it also takes to win a counterinsurgency.
Check out the recommended titles at the bottom of the page. There are many books about the Soviet experience in Afghanistan... Here is one of them: