I am not a huge fan of Frederick Kagan nor do I regularly read or link to the Weekly Standard, but the piece today on the ill fit of the Soviet analogy for understanding NATO in Afghanistan is on target.
While Afghanistan is a hard place for outsiders to operate, thinking that NATO is akin to the Soviet invasion is a fallacy. The two efforts are very, very different. There are some parallels but not so many as to make the situations identical. Analogies only work so far, but differences among situations need to be compared with the similarities. Yes, the Soviets and the NATO folks are foreigners, but the Taliban are not the Mujaheddin either. Karzai, for all of his flaws, is not the Socialist that the Soviets tried to put in place. Collateral damage is a problem for NATO operations, but was not for the Soviets--they didn't care too much about it.
I can go on and on about this, but NATO is not the Soviet Union, in its motivations, its strategies, its tactics, and perhaps not in the outcome.