As Obama's promise of a troop drawdown nears, the US military says the surge of tens of thousands of NATO reinforcements that began last year has won some and lost some against the Taliban but needs more time to succeed.
A comprehensive congressional report finds that billions of dollars of US aid could be feeding corruption and establishing programs that will collapse when the US leaves.
Seven US soldiers were killed amid rising violence in the Afghanistan war, as well as a parliamentary candidate and five campaign workers. President Karzai's chief of staff also said the US must alter its strategy to defeat the Taliban.
Control of roads and rural areas vexes coalition effort.