Afghan miners in a makeshift emerald mine in the Panjshir Valley in 2010. Reports suggest that Afghanistan is sitting on significant deposits of oil, gas, copper, iron, gold and coal, as well as a range of precious gems like emeralds and rubies. Currently these minerals are largely untapped and are still being mapped. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

Afghans gather outside a military base in the Panjwai district in Afghanistan on March 11, after 16 civilians were killed in a massacre allegedly carried out by a U.S. soldier. Allauddin Khan/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Allauddin Khan/AP

Afghan female police officers are trained by Afghan police and NATO soldiers in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province on Sept. 12. In the culturally conservative country, women serving in the security forces say they face systemic sexual coercion and even rape by male colleagues. STR/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Afghan demonstrators burn an effigy of President Obama and shout anti-U.S. slogans in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Afghans have been rioting for three days after word that several Qurans were desecrated at a NATO base. The U.S. says the burning of the Qurans was accidental. Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Traumatic brain injuries are most often caused by powerful blasts from improvised explosive devices. A roadside bomb explodes, and the concussive effect violently shakes the brain inside the skull. Stefano Rellandini/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Stefano Rellandini/Reuters /Landov

New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid (second from right) reported from Embaba, a neighborhood in Cairo, in February 2011 during the revolution that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Ed Ou/Getty Images hide caption

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Aw Muhammad, a resident of a refugee camp in western Kabul, pulls back a shade as one of his six surviving children looks out on the snow. Afghanistan is suffering one of its harshest winters in many years. Quil Lawrence/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Quil Lawrence/NPR

Taliban fighters walk with their weapons after joining Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province, last month. Thirty fighters left the Taliban to join government forces in western Afghanistan. The Taliban announced recently that they would open a political office in Qatar ahead of talks with Washington. Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A nurse weighs an Afghan child at a U.S.-funded clinic in Farza, Afghanistan, in September. A new U.S.-sponsored survey shows dramatic gains in life expectancy and other aspects of health care in Afghanistan. But some experts are questioning the accuracy of the results. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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The northern Afghan town of Char Bolak is guarded by the Critical Infrastructure Police, an auxiliary police program. The U.S. is increasingly relying on ad hoc local militias to fight the Taliban, but residents and government officials have concerns about the militias. Quil Lawrence/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Quil Lawrence/NPR

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, shown here during a press conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Kabul last month, has become increasingly combative toward the U.S. recently. Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images

A performance at the Afghan National Institute of Music in November of 2010. Daniel Wilkinson/U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/flickr.com hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Wilkinson/U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/flickr.com

In this photo released by the U.S. Marines and taken in December 2010, Lance Cpl. Dakota Hicks, from Laharpe, Ill., connects a radio battery to a portable solar panel communication system in Sangin District, in Afghanistan.The U.S. military is trying to wean itself off reliance on fossil fuels by employing solar energy and biofuels, among other measures. Gunnery Sgt. William Price Small/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gunnery Sgt. William Price Small/AP

Staff Sgt. Joshua White (center), Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell (left) and Brigade Sgt. Maj. Mike Boom (right) observe a joint patrol of U.S. Army and Afghan National Army soldiers and Afghan police in Paktika province, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3. The mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan has become a new front line in the Afghan war. Matt Ford/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Ford/AP