Afghan national police and U.S. soldiers on a joint patrol in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Kandahar city. The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan depends on training and equipping the Afghan security forces, making them self-reliant and allowing U.S. troops to withdraw. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Afghan police and U.S. Army soldiers jointly patrol the outskirts of Kandahar city as a boy pushes another boy in a wheelbarrow. The U.S. effort in Kandahar province faces a key challenge: Security is needed to enable local government to flourish, but without a local government in place, security is difficult to establish. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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An Afghan commando sits on a mud wall while securing a road for U.S. Special Forces soldiers on patrol in the village of Ezabad, in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Thousands of U.S. troops are heading to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan to team up with allied and Afghan forces for "Cooperation for Kandahar," an operation to root out the Taliban in its stronghold, the country's second-largest city. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Ahmed Wali Karzai (center, on phone), pictured here last November when his brother Hamid was re-elected president of Afghanistan, is a powerful leader in Kandahar. Chairman of Kandahar's provincial council, he is allied with the U.S. but tainted by accusations of corruption. Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Afghan commandos work on clearing a mock house during a training session conducted by the U.S. Army Special Forces at Fire Base Thomas in western Afghanistan. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki displays photographs of a man identified by the Iraqi government as al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. Maliki announced the deaths of Baghdadi and another al-Qaida leader, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, on Monday. Iraqi Prime Minister office/Getty Images hide caption

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An Army Honor Guard prepares to carry the flag-draped coffin of Staff Sgt. Vernon Martin into St. John's Baptist Church for his funeral service on Oct. 19, 2009, in Savannah, Ga. Martin, 25, was one of eight U.S. soldiers killed Oct. 3 during a fierce battle at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. Stephen Morton/Getty Images hide caption

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Capt. Mike Miller, with Delta Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, rides in his Humvee during a training mission at Fort Polk, La. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Staff Sgt. Norman T. Hatch was a cinematographer and combat photographer during World War II. He won an Academy Award for his footage of the amphibious assault at the Battle of Tarawa in 1943. U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association hide caption

itoggle caption U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association

A U.S. Marine officer with the 1/3 Charlie Company guards an Afghan family in Trikh Nawar on the northeastern outskirts of Marjah in February. Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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