Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (shown here in Iran in 2001), leader of the militant Hizb-i-Islami group, has recently made peace overtures to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. But observers are unsure about his motives. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

An illegal crop of poppies stands out from a newly harvested crop of wheat in Afghanistan. The opium trade is a key source of income for the Taliban. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julie Jacobson/AP

An Afghan security officer tries to stop photographers from taking pictures outside The Park Residence guesthouse at the site of a gun battle in the Shar-e Naw district in Kabul on Feb. 26. Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

Sally, a bomb-sniffing dog, assists Marines in the search for IEDs during their offensive in Marjah, a Taliban-infested area of southern Afghanistan. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR

Haji Zahir, the new governor of Marjah in Helmand province, listens to residents' grievances Monday. It was the first time an Afghan government official visited the former Taliban stronghold in two years. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR

The Afghan head of the Third Brigade 205th corps, Gen. Mohiudin Ghori, tells Marja villagers that it is time to back the government, not the Taliban. Soraya Nelson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Soraya Nelson/NPR

U.S. Marine and Afghan army commanders confer after their men begin taking fire while on patrol earlier this week. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR