The U.S. has completed the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan, reducing the American force from 101,000 to 91,000. All foreign troops are planning on leaving by 2014. Meanwhile, the foreign troops remain fully engaged in combat. The Taliban and drug gangs continue to run a terrorism campaign against civilians who will not cooperate or submit to Taliban or gang control. Foreign troops often go after Taliban who participate in these terrorist acts (especially murders and kidnappings.) Increasingly, the guilty parties are caught, and kidnap victims freed.
For the first time in five years, Taliban attacks were down (nearly 20 percent) over an entire year. Despite the hostile relations with Pakistan, the Taliban bases in Pakistan are increasingly unsafe, denying the Afghan Taliban sanctuaries. The Pakistanis are not happy with the growing activity of Islamic terror groups inside Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan is itself headed for more unrest, or even civil war, as public anger against the military and ISI (the local CIA) increases.
Despite the often corrupt behavior of the police, Taliban and outlaw efforts to disable the Afghan police are increasingly failing. The police are better armed and trained, and attacks on their bases tend to fail. Police patrols are more difficult to ambush and the cops more frequently win firefights with the Taliban and gangs.