Big cities like Kabul and Herat don’t speak for the entirety of all Afghans, so focusing all of our attention on the major urban centers doesn’t do anything to extend the legitimacy and credibility of the government, much less provide security from the Taliban. Therefore we concentrate on rural areas like Marjah — but this effort still won’t matter as long as we continue using military force and prop up a corrupt, illegitimate government. Until we have a strategy that doesn’t involve violently imposing our pet gangsters’ will on the Afghan people, we’ll have a hard time even distinguishing ourselves from the Taliban, much less convincing the citizens to take our side against them.