The American military has two main jobs now in Afghanistan: sweeping the remaining Taliban from safe havens and getting Afghan security forces to take charge in the fight.
On a recent day, the Afghan National Army, or ANA, is to be out front on a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol in the countryside outside Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It may seem like a small thing, but it's actually a big deal.
Sgt. Matthew McMurray lets his platoon know.
"ANA is going to lead, too. If they don't want to lead, just stop and make them walk ahead of you," he says.
Reporting from Afghanistan, Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks to Salahuddin Rabbani. President Hamid Karzai recently appointed him chairman of the High Peace Council, which is tasked with negotiating with the Taliban. Rabbani replaced his father who was assassinated last year by a suspected Taliban member.
The ministry that governs religious affairs in Afghanistan has announced what some are calling a "three strikes" policy.
It's a warning directed at Muslim clerics, or imams, accused of inciting violence in their Friday sermons. Imams across the country routinely condemn the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and speak in favor of the Taliban.
Reporting from the Afghan capital Kabul, Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks to Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin about the strategic partnership recently negotiated between the U.S., and the case Afghanistan will be making for future economic support.