Just a thought based on what I've read about several militias / civil war parties / military forces:
It appears that in countries with a weak central government (or plain civil war), the armed forces often have a fundamentally different model of organization in comparison to the Western industrial age armed forces.
Quite often the only truly loyal and mobile forces are a hard core of a few thousand men, usually only a few per cent of the whole armed forces' size. These are sometimes labelled "shock troops", "elite troops" et cetera in reports. They're the only ones usable for offnsive action in the entire country instead of only in a home region and they're usually full time troops. Their lack of a regional limitation stems sometimes from them being foreigners (such as the few thousand AQ 'shock troops' of the Taleban up to 2001).
The bulk of the forces are different; local or regional warbands / militias. They're rooted in their region and largely useless beyond it.* Their loyalty belongs to their warlord and their local social organisation (village, clan, valley, city, ethnic group) and is often the result of diplomatic extortion: The aforementioned mobile reserves can turn one militia after another by showing up in force, negotiating and leaving some loyal liaison personnel behind. Their numbers may vary with seasons, degree of threat to their home region and pay.
Such an armed forces organisation is at times difficult to knock out for good, but it is vulnerable on both accounts:
Attrition of the mobile reserves drains power where it matters the most and the semi-loyal locally rooted armed forces can be turned if only the "offer" made to them is "irresistible".
This isn't about combat aircraft quality, tanks, gargantuan logistics, artillery, futuristic stealth warships. All these are quite irrelevant in such a context. What matters is instead how to deal with such a not very stable organisation of armed forces.
I personally don't see much reason to develop an approach to defeat such armed forces, since they're unlikely to attack us and it's questionable whether I'd prefer the defeat of an insurgency in the West itself.
But it's telling how very much Western commentary and other attention was focused on a couple celebrity generals, military pundits, armoured vehicles, engineering stuff, demolition munitions, fancy drones, camouflage patterns, bulletproof vests, rifles, jamming equipment, precision guided munitions and combat aircraft whenever the West faced armed forces of the described pattern. Attention was on everything but what mattered; how to disconnect the established links so friendly armed forces can become the alpha power with their newly built-up brand of mobile reserves.
Instead, we obsessed about what matters in our high organisation armed forces, and expected the adoption of this model.
This isn't merely an obituary for ISAF; I suppose this pattern of behaviour will resurface again and again, no matter how much talk about "asymmetric warfare", "hybrid enemies" and the like willbe done.
*: This is a recipe for a long civil war; anti-governemnt forces largely incapable of a concentrated offensive..