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New U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan Faces Tough Job

Host Scott Simon speaks with James Cunningham, who was sworn in as the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan earlier this month.

U.S. Faces Growing 'Insider Attacks' In Afghanistan

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan cites multiple reasons for the increase in attacks by men in Afghan uniforms. Taliban infiltrators, friction between NATO and Afghan troops, and even Ramadan are all seen as factors.

Ambassador To Afghanistan: 'Vast Majority' Of Afghans Support Coalition

Most Afghans realize that the presence of U.S. and coalition forces has "literally reshaped their country after decades of war and conflict," says Ambassador James Cunningham. Also: A top general says stress of fasting during Ramadan may be factor in "green on blue" attacks.

'Green-On-Blue' Attacks Challenge Afghan Security

Insider attacks by Afghan forces have killed 40 coalition troops so far in 2012, including ten Americans. That surpasses the number of so-called green-on-blue attacks in 2011, and raises serious questions about Afghan readiness as American forces prepare for a withdrawal that could begin in 2013.

In Afghan Bazaar, U.S. Goods At Bargain Prices

Western aid to Afghanistan hasn't created any U.S.-style malls. But it has helped keep markets well-stocked, like the Bush Bazaar, which specializes in selling stolen U.S. goods.

In Afghanistan: General's Plane Damaged; Afghans Start Spying On Own Troops

Shrapnel from rockets fired at Bagram air field damaged the plane that had been set to fly the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff out of the country. Two maintenance workers were slightly injured. Gen. Martin Dempsey left on another aircraft.