December 30, 2009 1:05 PM

U.S. rushing to build an Afghan army to battle insurgents

The effort to enlarge and train the Afghan army is critical to the Obama administration's plan to defeat the Taliban and al Qaida, pacify much of Afghanistan and begin to withdraw at least some U.S. forces in 2011. Success, however, is far from guaranteed: The Afghan military remains plagued by corruption, ethnic rivalries and illiteracy, and by its almost complete dependence on American logistical and intelligence support.

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