Nearly two years ago, President Hamid Karzai called for armed private security contractors in his country to be replaced by a state-run force. The Afghan Public Protection Force took over last month, and its off to a rocky start.
In 2010, the southern Afghan town of Marjah was a haven for the Taliban and drug traffickers. Today, after a massive effort by the U.S. Marines, the Taliban have fled and the area is relatively peaceful. But many are concerned about Marjah's future once American combat forces leave the area.
The U.S. urged NATO allies and other nations during the Chicago summit to make a long-term commitment to Afghanistan once combat forces withdraw in 2014. But many of the European member nations are reeling from the grinding debt crisis, making it hard to justify development and training programs in Afghanistan.
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