Rhythm control in AF

If stroke risk in AF is related more to atrial dysfunction than to the arrhythmia itself, then rhythm control as a strategy is unlikely to eliminate stroke risk.  But to the extent that AF begets atrial dysfunction (and thus AF begets AF), it is possible that early intervention, before atrial dysfunction is advanced, might be effective.

What is the role of rhythm control in managing AF?

Does it make sense to intervene early in the progression of AF (with drugs or ablation)?