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."