In Wardak Province, the counterinsurgency model has been difficult to implement, though US forces have already seen some success in the first phase of the effort.
As forces of the 10th Mountain Division have poured into Wardak Province to combat the Taliban, they've also had to battle a cool reception.
Some 3,000 US troops recently deployed to insurgent-heavy provinces near Kabul.
Under Obama, the US may send 20,000 more troops and encourage talks with the Taliban in an effort to reclaim the upper hand in Afghanistan.
Insecurity and charges of fraud could hamper election officials' ability to ensure popular acceptance of next year's presidential poll results.
While the insurgents have singled out Christians, there's also a rise in attacks on all aid workers.
Afghan NGOs are teaching human rights and Islamic law along with calls to end the war with a national peace jirga.
In provinces just south of Kabul, the insurgents have a shadow government that polices roads and runs courts.