in the later part of the Afghan war the Soviet conscript army in Afghanistan was gradually replaced by the Spetznaz - not that it made any difference. The use of US stinger missiles helped too.
but the attrition is having its desired effect on the wills of the western nations.
see the french are talking about pulling out after the recent loss of about 9 or 10 soldiers,
germany is likewise having a difficult time convincing the public - and in Canada which has had about a hundred killed prime minister Stephen Harper publicly admitted that by 2011 Canada will not be in a combat role in Afghanistan. (the Taliban know theres an election coming up in Canada and have stepped up their attacks)
I actually agree with you here Teribus that the West should stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan, however Im doubtful that there really is the will for the long term..
In a recent frontline documentary about the Canadians in some distant Kandahar outpost.. it struck me just how inept the whole thing was. To build good will the Canadians promised to repair the local villagers generators - but turns out they didnt have the parts. So they went out to purchase some needed parts - but hey theres no Canadian Tire anywhere in sight and the local towns didnt have anything - and on their excursion they ended up shooting up some locals who got to close to them. Later they convinced the nearby villages to come to the base for free medical care and when many of them did (at great risk of Taliban reprisal) hundreds were turned away when the Canadian Doctors ran out of supplies. ?! (Geez why not just buy new generators and plan a bit better with the supplies)..
Later that base was shut down.. You can imagine how the Taliban dealt with those who had been friendly with the Canadians..