Service members handcuffed themselves to the White House fence during an April protest for gay rights. The potential repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring openly gay troops from serving raises practical questions about housing and fairness for the Pentagon. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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U.S. Army paratroopers patrol a busy market street in downtown Herat in northwest Afghanistan in June. In the past year, insurgent attacks and crime have spiked in this part of the country, which previously had been relatively calm. It's believed that U.S.-led operations in neighboring provinces are driving insurgents north, to Herat. Chris Hondros/Getty Images AsiaPac hide caption

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Trucks wait to cross the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan near Spin Boldak in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. The U.S. military is trying to prevent Taliban militants from fleeing to Pakistan to regroup. Rachel Martin/NPR hide caption

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An Italian soldier (right) with Afghan army soldiers at  NATO's Combat Outpost Cavour in Bala Murghab. Here and in locations throughout the country, U.S., NATO and Afghan forces have retaken ground from the Taliban and are seeking to expand their areas of security control. Courtesy of Italian Army Maj. Igor Piani/ISAF hide caption

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A U.S. contractor looks away from a dust cloud whipped up by a helicopter departing over the gatepost at Combat Outpost Terra Nova in Kandahar, Afghanistan. A recent government report states that billions of dollars are being spent on reconstruction in Afghanistan, but the money is not being tracked. Rodrigo Abd/AP hide caption

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Former service member Anthony Woods (left) listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Since his discharge from the U.S. Army, Woods ran for Congress in California, and now he collaborates with groups trying to repeal the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images hide caption

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Smoke rises after NATO aircraft conduct an airstrike near the Arghandab River, south of Senjeray village, in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, where U.S. commanders had identified as insurgent positions, Sept. 11, 2010. As the U.S. cracks down on insurgents in Afghanistan, survivors flee to safe havens across the border in Pakistan. Now, the U.S. is ramping up strikes on Pakistan's lawless border region. Todd Pittman/AP hide caption

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