Dr Huw Davies writes a fascinating article in this BBC article about British involvement in Afghanistan. Given the recent shift of strategy to increase face to face combat instead of using air support it is tempting for the armchair strategist to reach for history books and predict the improbability of success.
The key of course is to recognise that the 'context' is different from before. The British and their allies are in the country to deal with a specific group of ideologues, and whilst they might have local knowledge it is only their terror tactics that provide local support. In other words their apparent 'supporters' do not believe in them, unlike say the Viet Cong, who admittedly used 'terror' tactics and also had a base of support in the population at large.
So are the British being gullible thinking they will achieve a positive outcome? I don't actually think so.