In this Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 photo, Afghan men listen to speeches, as Afghan and U.S. soldiers stand guard, background, in Washer district, Helmand province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. Helmand ... more 
In this Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 photo, Afghan men listen to speeches, as Afghan and U.S. soldiers stand guard, background, in Washer district, Helmand province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. Helmand was the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's surge, when he ordered 33,000 additional U.S troops to Afghanistan to help the military with a counterinsurgency plan. That plan hoped to turn the tide in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar and establish the governmental institutions that would allow the Afghan government to take control of the Taliban heartland. However, near-daily attacks by militants and increasingly frequent deadly violence against NATO troops by their Afghan allies highlight an embarrassing failure of Western policy: After nearly 12 years of military intervention, the country is not pacified. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq) less 
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Associated Press | Photo By Abdul Khaleq
Mon, Aug 27, 2012 4:22 PM EDT