In October, soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division on patrol in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province climb the hills and footpaths near the Pakistan border. This volatile border has been a source of constant friction as insurgents pass freely through the mountainous region. David Gillkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gillkey/NPR

Army Lt. Kenneth Kovach speaks to members of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps over coils of concertina wire that separate Afghanistan and Pakistan. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

A man holds the keys to his car while yelling for customers to catch a ride with him to Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan and the border crossing at the Khyber Pass. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Workers shift ballot boxes at the Independent Election Commission warehouses on Sept. 23 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Electoral Complaints Commission has received vast amounts of complaints alleging fraud. Paula Bronstein /Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Paula Bronstein /Getty Images

Women have been flying Apache attack helicopters in the U.S. Army for about 15 years. Chief Warrant Office Stephanie Rose was among the first women to fly the Apache and is currently on her third combat tour, this time in northern Afghanistan. Yuri Cortez/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Yuri Cortez/Getty Images

Villagers shout anti-U.S. slogans after a U.S.-led raid in Wardak, Afghanistan, that killed three civilians two weeks ago. A crowd of about 300 villagers yelled "Death to the United States" and blocked a main road in eastern Afghanistan. Rahmatullah Naikzad/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rahmatullah Naikzad/AP

Women walk at an outdoor market in downtown Kabul. The resurgent Taliban and several recent executions in accordance with an extreme interpretation of Shariah law have human-rights activists worried, particularly for women. Rodrigo Abd/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rodrigo Abd/AP

Hall rests during a recent patrol in Ali Abad, in northern Afghanistan, with a platoon of soldiers who live with the Afghan national police. Quil Lawrence/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Quil Lawrence/NPR