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

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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

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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

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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

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The assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai (center, shown in 2009), the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, prompted fears of a security breakdown in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Ahmed Wali Karzai was rumored to have a hand in everything that went on in the region: tribal affairs, politics and business.

Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Afghanistan's Panjwai district, southwest of Kandahar city, was a Taliban stronghold until the U.S. troop surge in 2010 began to displace the insurgents.

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