As I previously mentioned, there are many parallels between what NATO is doing in Afghanistan and what the Soviets did.
From the enjoyable Afghanistanica comes this post on The Other Side of the Soviet Invasion:
[...] the strategy in the north on the part of the Soviet Union was to deliver aid and development projects as a reward for cooperation (or merely not violently resisting).
And also point out that:
[..] there was not universal resistance to the Soviets (I am not claiming that there there was no resistance to the Soviets in the north) and that the Soviets actually did give development an attempt. You can take the example of the Soviet attempt at "winning hearts and minds" and note either the striking similarity to or the stark difference with the present NATO/ISAF effort in Afghanistan.
Nothing in history is exactly the same, but there are definitely echoes to be found.
Via Global Voices