According to journalist Paula Broadwell writing on Thomas Rick's Foreign Policy blog, last October a U.S. army unit in southern Afghanistan was in trouble. It had lost several soldiers killed and wounded and confronted a village where through some combination of recruitment and intimidation, the Taliban had implanted a maze of deadly mines. So they called in artillery and air power and this was the result:
The soldiers promised to rebuild the village if the locals would work on the project, but encountered organizational obstacles. Unaccountably to Broadwell, their efforts were not entirely popular. One vocal villager accused the soldiers of "ruining his life." If I read Broadwell correctly, the troops are still there, still trying get some rebuilding on track.
I'll leave commentary on this minor incident of the war to Joshua Foust, who writes about international security issues at Registan and in numerous print media, including the New York Times, Reuters, The Christian Science Monitor, The Columbia Journalism Review, and World Politics Review.
I imagine that, during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan from 1979 through 1989, most Russian citizens didn't have much idea what their troops were doing either. Nor did they understand that Afghans are people with normal human reactions to having their villages -- their lives, their possessions, their memories -- erased by foreigners. The United States has now been mucking about in Afghan lives longer than the Soviets.