The Taliban claim responsibility for recent Kabul attacks, but the US pins blame specifically on the Pakistan-based Haqqani network in what some see as a bid to salvage Taliban peace talks.
In an uncharacteristically blunt move, US Adm. Mike Mullen said publicly that Pakistan had a 'longstanding relationship' with the Haqqani militant group. The US appears to be both prodding Pakistan to finally root out militants in its border region and attempting to set the parameters for Afghan peace talks.
For years, the Pentagon has stressed the importance to the Afghanistan war of eradicating safe havens for the Taliban and other insurgents in Pakistan. Now, it's easing off those claims.
Monitor staff writers and correspondents in each of the world's regions share what they expect to be top headlines in 2011.
Afghanistan and the US are showing signs of a new approach to insurgents in Afghanistan. The approach may ultimately allow Pakistan more influence in Afghanistan as the US prepares to leave next year.