I did recently mention the concept of accidental guerrillas; the idea that killing one wrong person spawns multiple new enemies.
A commenter stated that he doesn't believe in this theory because the Taliban would have spawned way too many enemies pre-2001 if it was correct.
Well, this touches on a very general problem; people have misunderstandings about how to apply theories (or non-scientific attempts to explain what's happening).
Many scientific theories look at an issue from one angle, on one spot and make a correct statement with very limited applicability. The correctness depends on the correct conditions. A neutron can split an atom, but it has to be the right kind of atom, and the neutron's energy needs to be right as well. Newton's mechanics apply, but only at non-relativistic speeds. Certain theories about an optimal currency area are valuable, but only if labour is really mobile. A drug may cure a disease, but only so if the bacteria isn't resistant yet.
In this case, the "accidental guerilla" explanation seems to be valid for the 2001-2011 time frame of the Western occupation of Afghanistan, but incorrect for the previous Taliban rule.
Why? Well, the Taliban ruled under different conditions. The Hama option was feasible and valuable for them and an effective counter to the accidental guerilla problem, but to us it would be a perversion and has a negative value. Different circumstances - different dominant approaches - different outcomes.
This is of course also applicable to my attempts to contribute to military theory (one of the things that differentiate this blog from almost all other MilBlogs). All but the most general theories apply only under certain circumstances in (hopefully well-defined) cases. Sometimes it's even up to other theories to define the limits of a given theory. That's how science and much else advances in the Western World; by incremental improvements coupled with a readiness of at least some people to accept the complicated or complex nature of their field of interest.