Neither Afghan nor American observers expect the Kabul attack on the InterContinental Hotel to shut down the peace process.
While last night's deadly suicide raid on Kabul's InterContinental Hotel showcased Taliban capabilities, early details also indicate some success in the new model of having Afghan forces take more of a lead on security.
US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry responded sharply to criticism of the US by Afghan President Karzai. His unusually tart remarks come amid growing pressure in the US to bring troops home.
While insurgent-caused casualties are up, US-caused civilian casualties are down. Still, it only takes a couple of high profile incidents to negatively turn public opinion.
Corruption, drug addiction, and too many Afghan deserters, make handing over power a daunting task, say NATO officials and Western diplomats.
The Afghanistan opium harvest dropped 48 percent this year, the United Nations announced. But analysts say the resulting higher prices could draw more farmers into the business.
Afghanistan's election Saturday yielded reports of intimidation in unstable regions. In Kabul, some voters aimed to oust incumbents, while others appeared to want to cast ballots more than once.
General Petraeus arrived in Kabul today to take over the Afghanistan war effort. Afghans say he faces a limited window to rein in corruption, make the Karzai government more accountable, and create momentum toward peace.
Gen. David Petraeus's strategy in the Afghanistan war relies on money for reconstruction and development. But Congress says it will withhold $4 billion in Afghan aid unless rampant corruption is stopped.
Afghan leaders say any effort that doesn't address election fraud and corrupt officials will fail.