The overwhelming vibe one gets from serious Afghan civil society and government stakeholders is that Afghanistan doesn't have the tools and will, as of yet, to control and direct its own destiny. .
My impressions of Kabul, I'm sure, are not original. As one gets beyond a veneer of chaos common to any developing country, there is a tension I keep running into here between those who are earnestly, desperately working to build systems that work in their country and those who are entirely self-motivated, often corruptly, and fake their support of the national project in order to siphon cash or to act as agents for powerful political manipulators to whom they are beholden.
The lines of tension here are not necessarily between the Taliban and the rest; they are regional, ethnic, sub-regional, sub-ethnic. There is a complex, subtle struggle going on in the institutions I have seen thus far between fragments of Afghan society that must be included in government, in decisions, in anything big, lest those factions become spoilers, vetoing progress -- sometimes through violence.
Add to this the consistent view among those I have spoken to here that Pakistan's ISI is the control box for what moves forward and what gets sabotaged. Many think Pakistan has a vision and strategy for what it wants out of Afghanistan that is far broader and larger in scope than anything the Afghan government has about itself. Some of those who have shared their views with me here the last couple of days see efforts at peace and reconciliation in the country undermined from the start by ISI spies and agents who have become key politicians in the provinces and within the various ethnic groups -- not just the Pashtun.