Some tribes have forced insurgents from their area, but many risks remain.
Adm. Mike Mullen is pushing to get more planes and helicopters there to make up for the lack of troops.
The move by the Army and Air Force comes in response to criticism from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Reviews under way, to be ready for the next president, are intended to accelerate a new strategy.
Afghan civilian deaths rise 39 percent. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pledges to do more to solve problem.
The Pentagon wants more control over NATO there in light of Taliban resurgence.
A key component is likely to be more troops, but the strategy must go beyond that, experts say.
The attack focuses international pressure on neighboring Pakistan, where many of the militants are said to be based.