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PHOTO: New recruits in the Afghan National Army learn how to shoot M-16 rifles. (Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff)
After years of standing in the background, Beijing is starting to show signs of closer engagement with its strife-torn neighbor in a bid to ward off disaster, say Chinese and foreign analysts.
When Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao here on Friday, they will raise their countries’ bilateral relations to a “new strategic level,” an Afghan official told reporters in Kabul this week.
READ: Why China is likely to get more involved in Afghanistan

PHOTO: New recruits in the Afghan National Army learn how to shoot M-16 rifles. (Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff)

After years of standing in the background, Beijing is starting to show signs of closer engagement with its strife-torn neighbor in a bid to ward off disaster, say Chinese and foreign analysts.

When Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao here on Friday, they will raise their countries’ bilateral relations to a “new strategic level,” an Afghan official told reporters in Kabul this week.

READ: Why China is likely to get more involved in Afghanistan

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Pentagon correspondent Anna Mulrine points out that even before the brigade left for Afghanistan in 2009, its commander was uneasy about the uncertain task ahead; mentoring Afghan security forces.

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UPDATE: Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle: Parts Three, Four and Five

We continue today with the final parts of our five-part series from reporter Anna Mulrine, who was embedded with US Army troops in Afghanistan in the Pech River Valley.

Part Three: 1st Platoon’s ‘last stand’

Part Four: A race against daybreak

Part Five: What was it all for?

Read the whole series here.

PHOTO: Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 32nd infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division take cover near Shigal village in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan on Dec. 7, 2009. (Newscom/File)

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Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle: Part Two

Here’s part two of our five part Series Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle from Monitor reporter Anna Mulrine, who was embedded with US Troops in Afghanistan. Today’s read: Into the Valley of Death.

US Army soldiers from Charlie Company, 2nd battalion, 35th infantry regiment, Task Forces Bronco climb down from the top of the hill which overlooks the river Darya ye Kunar in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province on Aug. 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Nikola Solic/File)

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Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle: Five Part Series

Monitor reporter Anna Mulrine is embedded with Havoc Company in Afghanistan, and reporting on “Operation Hammer Down” - one of the repeated efforts by the US military to clear Al-Qaeda training camps from the Pech River Valley.

Part 1: Soldiers’ tale of an epic fight

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US Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, officially relinquished command of international forces here to US Marine Gen. John Allen in a ceremony in Kabul on Monday. Unlike his departure from Iraq, General Petraeus leaves his successor a war that is far from over.

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