A new report on Afghanistan said that insurgent attacks were creeping toward the capital, Kabul, and that while the government is not immediately threatened, urgent action is needed.
The International Crisis Group research institute said in its report that more international forces were needed in Afghanistan's battle zones, but that military power alone will not solve the country's problems.
Diplomatic pressure is needed on neighbouring Pakistan -- from where Taliban rebels are believed to plan and mount attacks -- the report said.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai must also attack corruption in his government, it said.
"The desire for a quick, cheap war followed by a quick, cheap peace is what has brought Afghanistan to the present, increasingly dangerous situation," said the report from the Brussels-based think tank, released on Thursday.
The report said the Afghanistan conflict has proportionally fewer peacekeepers than other recent post-conflict situations like Bosnia and Kosovo.
Supporters of the former ruling Taliban have stepped up attacks this year, unleashing the worst episode of violence since US-led forces ousted the hardline militia in late 2001 for hosting Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.