The insurgents were undoubtedly Islamic zealots. People don't blow themselves up in the hope of a better earthly future.
McChrystal as the chief propagandist promptly sought to "spin" the powerful symbol of the capability and will behind the attacks. "Cruelty toward the Afghan people," etc. The US military has convinced itself that bullshit and bullets are equally potent. Obama's politicos should remember that when they think of matching wits with the generals in the media. Generals + Neocons = Big Time Propaganda.
The war in Afghanistan can be brought to a satisfactory conclusion for the US, but not the way the church of COIN wants to do it. USE AFGHAN TRIBALS to fight these guys.
An additional problem for McChrystal is that he will soon have to compete for attention and resources with whomever will emerge as the "savior" of Yemen.
Obama is looking more and more unlikely for a second term. I am sure that he is praying a lot over Massachusetts. pl