Afghan National Army soldiers line up with their literacy instruction materials in hand Aug. 7, 2010, at the Capital Division Headquarters. Staff Sgt. Rachel Martinez/USAF via Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Staff Sgt. Rachel Martinez/USAF via Flickr

Children stand on the ruined wall of a house in a hamlet in Lower Khasro, Arghandab. Quil Lawrence/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Quil Lawrence/NPR

A special tribunal set up by Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged the president to delay the opening of Afghanistan's parliament, four months after the country's disputed elections. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

An Afghan boy pushes a wheelbarrow past oil tankers parked up near the Afghan-Iran border at Islam Qala on the outskirts of Herat, west of Kabul, Jan. 4. Reza Shirmohammadi/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Reza Shirmohammadi/AP

U.S. Army Capt. Aaron T. Schwengler (second left) and other U.S. soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 187 Infantry, B Company talk with Afghan villagers during a patrol in Bangi village, Andar district in Ghazni province, Jan. 6. Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A U.S. soldier is brought to the emergency room at the U.S. hospital at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, after he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Wardak province, June 2009. The facility uses both cutting-edge technology as well as old techniques discovered anew to treat the massive number of wounded soldiers who pass through. Rafiq Maqbool/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Army medics and soldiers carry a wounded soldier onto an Air Force C-17 at Bagram Air Field in this Aug. 8, 2002, photo. Members from the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Bagram quickly reconfigure the hold of the massive cargo plane into a flying hospital that will take wounded troops from the war zone to American hospitals in Europe and the United States. Wally Santana/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Wally Santana/Pool/Getty Images

An Afghan Shiite Muslim prays in a mosque in Kabul this week, during ceremonies in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Afghan Shiites are almost all ethnic Hazaras, who make up about 10 percent of the population and have historically been considered a subservient class in Afghanistan and persecuted by the Taliban. Rafiq Maqbool/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Children and an Afghan policeman look at a U.S. soldier patrolling the outskirts of Kandahar. President Obama's review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan will be unveiled soon. Although the administration is formulating an exit strategy, Afghans and other observers say it would be a  mistake for the U.S. to leave the country in its current state. Rodrigo Abd/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rodrigo Abd/AP

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