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.
Thanks to Facebook and other sites, American troops in Afghanistan are more connected than ever with what's going on back home. But that connectivity has also led to incendiary videos and photos getting posted online. Now, military leadership is taking steps to further educate troops on what is and isn't appropriate for public viewing.
NATO commanders say the mantra of the Afghan alliance has been "in together, out together." That means keeping combat forces in the country through 2014 — even though some member countries like France plan to bring their troops home sooner.
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