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** FILE ** In this Jan. 31, 2010, file photo, an unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

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** FILE ** An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan on a moonlit night in January 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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associated press Nicholas Weichel stands next to the casket of his father, Rhode Island National Guard Sgt. Dennis Weichel Jr., who was killed in Afghanistan. The conflict is no longer a hot topic with most Americans, even with 88,000 U.S. troops still fighting there and 2,000 having died there.

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Nicholas Weichel stands next to the casket of his father, Rhode Island National Guard Sgt. Dennis Weichel Jr., who was killed in Afghanistan. The conflict is no longer a hot topic with most Americans, even with 88,000 U.S. troops still fighting there and 2,000 having died there. (Associated Press)

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U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks to American service members with the International Security Assistance Forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/D. Myles Cullen, Department of Defense)

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Afghanistan US Dempse_Lea.jpg

U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks to American service members with the International Security Assistance Forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/D. Myles Cullen, Department of Defense)

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U.S. Marines patrol outside Marjah, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, in February 2010. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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**FILE** U.S. Marines patrol outside Marjah, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, in February 2010. (Associated Press)

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U.S. soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade take positions near their armored vehicles during a patrol on the outskirts of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, in August 2009. Months later, they got the anti-IED gear they requested. (Associated Press)

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U.S. soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade patrol near Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, in August 2009. That October, seven soldiers died when an improvised explosive device blew up a Stryker vehicle. (Associated Press)

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U.S. soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade take positions near their armored vehicles during a patrol on the outskirts of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, in August 2009. Months later, they got the anti-IED gear they requested. (Associated Press)

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Afghans look at a pool of blood at the scene of an explosion Aug. 19, 2012, at a cemetery in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan. A bomb hidden in the cemetery exploded as a police official and his family were visiting the grave of a relative, killing the official and his brother, police said. (Associated Press)

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Afghans look at a pool of blood at the scene of an explosion Aug. 19, 2012, at a cemetery in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan. A bomb hidden in the cemetery exploded as a police official and his family were visiting the grave of a relative, killing the official and his brother, police said. (Associated Press)

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An Afghan man collects victims' belongings at the scene of an explosion at a cemetery in Lashkar Gah, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)

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An Afghan man collects victims' belongings at the scene of an explosion at a cemetery in Lashkar Gah, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)

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** FILE ** U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta (left) meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, March 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Ismail, Pool)

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**FILE** Afghan security forces raise Afghanistan's flag in place of NATO's flag on July 18, 2012, during the third phase of transfer of authority from NATO troops to Afghan security forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Afghan security forces raise Afghanistan's flag in place of NATO's flag on July 18, 2012, during the third phase of transfer of authority from NATO troops to Afghan security forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter prepares to depart from a forward operating base in the Zhari district of southern Afghanistan on Sept. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)