There's probably some thesis-level work for a War College student here, but I will go right to the crux of the biscuit and throw out a generalization here; the more troop units the U.S. throws into a foreign nation, the heavier the U.S. footprint on the ground, and the more the foreign military is fitted into a U.S.-style box, the more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming is the mission, and the less likely the probability of success, in both the short- and long-term. And we're not even calculating the post-U.S.-withdrawal blowback.
Here's a brief summary of a mostly-non-story from Afghanistan; the notional "Preident" of the notionally-sovereign "state" of Afghanistan is pretty pissed off that his notional foreign "allies" seem to occasionally bomb the living piss out of his non-notional wimmen and kiddies and demands that they knock it off. The reaction appears to be something along the lines of "Ha! That whacky Karzai! What a kidder!"
His call was viewed as mainly symbolic. Western military officials cited existing cooperation with Afghan authorities and pledged to continue consultations, but said privately that Karzai's presidential authority does not include veto power over specific targeting decisions made in the heat of battle.So here's the thing; I understand why the ISAF C&C doesn't want to halt CAS and night raids. They work, in a "whack-a-muj" sort of way. And the fact that the left side of the politico-military aisle doesn't always like to admit is that if you kill enough of the Bad Guys you win. It's a vile, nasty, Battle-of-Algiers ugly sort of win, but it works. Ask the Tamil Tigers. Or the Shining Path. Oh, wait - you can't; they're either dead or in prison.
But...here's the other thing. Look at the places that this "make-a-wasteland-and-call-it-peace" style of making friends and influencing people has worked.
All of them - or so close to "all of them" as to make no never mind - have NOT featured the presence of major U.S. maneuver units. And all of them have been very visibly run by the locals. From Peru to El Salvador to Sri Lanka, the local government has always had the Mandate of Heaven to rain death and destruction down on its own people. It isn't always wise and it isn't always successful - you could call up Hosni Mubarak or the ghost of Anastasio Somozoa to tell you that - but its a hell of a lot more successful than bringing in foreigners to take the lead in killing your people.
And, what's more, it usually has a bad effect on the local government to be seen, or to actually be, the sock-puppet for the foreigners. One important aspect of governance is the understanding of and the fitting to the local conditions of the rulers. No matter how long the foreigner spends in native robes and developing a taste for goat, he will never be a native. We seem to think we can solve this by making the natives more like us.
It can be done - look at the inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent - but it takes tens to hundreds of years, and an occupation and reconstruction far more invasive, more ruthless, and more intelligent than anything we have or can attempt in central Asia.
So the current situation seem to be that we don't care to let our supposed client state even pretend to be sovereign over our troop actions, which implies that they won't be, or not for a long, long, time. But we keep insisting that we're standing them up so we can stand down.
Doesn't make any sense to me; it's either one or the other - it can't be both. But perhaps because I'm not in Officer's Country I'm just not seeing the real Big Picture.