Last weekend 6,000 protestors demonstrated on the third anniversary of the military coup. US concern about democracy is reflected in USAID's return to boost the nation's once-vibrant civil society.
War effort requires farmers, engineers, lawyers to share expertise.
The US has pledged more than $300 million in development over the next year in Helmand Province. Success could sway farmers at the center of both the insurgency and the opium trade.
The secretary of State's visit to Africa's top oil producer on Sunday and Monday is being seen as an effort to counter China's clout there.
Officers killed four of at least eight suicide bombers – some wearing burqas – launching a coordinated assault in Gardez.
US forces are pushing deeper into Helmand Province, where Americans promoted development throughout much of the cold-war era.
It hopes to attract adventurous visitors – but a surge in violence and development woes put that at risk.