General Petraeus takes over a counterinsurgency strategy that has largely failed, say Afghanistan lawmakers from Taliban hot spots Marjah and Kandahar, which have been targeted for key US offensives.
While the strategy remains the same, will the deft touch of General Petraeus reorient key relationships among leaders in Afghanistan?
Afghan President Hamid Karzai presented a second list of cabinet nominees over the weekend after Parliament rejected most of his initial picks. Karzai wants to lock down his cabinet before a key Jan. 28 conference in London.
Afghanistan was torn in the 1990s by civil war among ethnic-based warlords, but leaders now avoid directly appealing to ethnicity. Still, voting patterns in the Afghan election closely mirror the country's ethnic lines.
While Afghanistan mental health treatment has improved in cities, many rural residents still opt to send the ill to shrines, where they may be chained and poorly fed. Aid workers are trying to expand training for community health workers.
Kabul Mayor Mir Abdul Ahad Sahebi is the first high-profile figure convicted in Afghanistan’s new corruption crackdown. But he has denied the charges against him and that corruption even exists in his city.
THE FIRST COUPLE: Despite criticism earlier this fall for his selection of jeans at a baseball game, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, looking stylish in this Feb. 22 photo while attending a dinner with the nation's governors, are routinely recognized for their good fashion choices. Okay, so mostly Michelle, but Barack looks pretty dapper in his tux!
Working with criminal gangs, Taliban are planting roadside bombs and extorting money in Afghanstan's northern provinces.
Influential US ambassador Karl Eikenberry has reportedly argued that Afghanistan is too politically unstable under Karzai to send more troops. Western and Afghan officials are brainstorming ways to check the president's power.
In Panjshir Province, Governor Bahij says he wants to thwart protest of Afghanistan election. But he wants more autonomy.