Just 650 Afghans are fighting alongside the 4,000 US Marines in the Helmand province. US commanders and now Congress are pushing to grow Afghan security forces.
Officers killed four of at least eight suicide bombers – some wearing burqas – launching a coordinated assault in Gardez.
US soldiers have deep concerns about the force, and say that its members collude with insurgents.
But only 200 officers in the south have been trained so far in a US-led program to stem trafficking in and out of Pakistan.
But the military said that the estimated death toll of the bombing this week – 100 people – was "grossly exaggerated."
In Strasbourg, the US president cast the war as an international – not just American – problem.
The US special envoy told allies at the Brussels Forum that the Talibanization of the region was a top concern.
Obama's order to send 17,000 more troops comes before US has set a clear strategy.
Some 250 US citizens of Afghan origin have made unlikely career changes to become military interpreters.