Along with the increase in U.S. troops, President Obama's COIN strategy called for a U.S. civilian "surge" to get Afghanistan ready for troops' withdrawal next year. Although there have been pockets of progress, what will it really take for the civilian surge to work long-term?
CNN’s Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty and CNN Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott recently embedded with U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan, part of the Obama administration's civilian "surge." They saw first-hand the efforts on the ground and the pockets of progress as well as the challenges that remain.
Watch as CNN's Jill Dougherty sees the "civilian surge" up close.
In her analysis of what it will take for long-term success, Labott writes, "We saw so many little pockets of hope, each of them producing modest gains. But in and of themselves, these bright spots do not necessarily add up to a policy. The concern continues that the U.S. will fail to translate these gains into a path for Afghanistan to stand up on its own."
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (CNN) - While President Barack Obama and the military talk about transferring territory to the Afghans next summer, in many places across Afghanistan, largely out of public view, the handover of security, from U.S. to Afghan forces, has already begun on a small scale.
In the last several days, U.S. Marines in southern Afghanistan have handed over two small outposts to Afghan forces in the district of Nawa, a place which once saw heavy fighting, a senior ISAF official confirms to CNN.
Across the country, several small outposts have either been turned over to the Afghans, or U.S. troops have pulled out of areas because Afghan control is sufficient the official said. These moves are in advance of the broader turnover of entire provinces, districts and sub-districts to Afghan control that is expected to begin in 2011. However, coming just days before the mid-November NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, these minor moves will give the alliance, and the Obama administration, the ability to announce that transition on some scale has begun.