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President Obama's Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter is signaling to lawmakers that instability in such countries as Libya and Yemen may require additional counterterrorism operations similar to the ones being conducted by the U.S. military on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. (Associated Press)

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From Afghanistan and borderlands of Pakistan to Iraq and North Africa, radical Islamists eager to spread their strict interpretation of the Muslim faith and topple Western values have bombed, beheaded and slaughtered — undermining the White House narrative and raising questions about its strategy. (Associated Press)

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Pakistan Daily Life.JPEG-095d0.jpg

A Pakistani woman who was displaced with her family from Pakistan's tribal areas carries firewood home during a sandstorm in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

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A Pakistani Christian girl buys a cross at a shop outside a local church on Christmas Day in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

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Chris Marvin (left) was an Army helicopter pilot before suffering numerous injuries in a 2004 crash on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Never one to go down without a fight, Mr. Marvin spent years recuperating and became managing director of Got Your 6, a nonprofit that works to inspire and assist other combat veterans like himself.

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Pakistani students pray during a special ceremony for the victims of Tuesday's school attack in Peshawar, at a school in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary) ** FILE **

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APTOPIX Pakistan.JPEG-0b2ac.jpg

Chairs are upturned and blood stains the floor at the Army Public School auditorium the day after Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Pakistan mourned as the nation prepares for mass funerals Wednesday for over 140 people, most of them children, killed in the Taliban massacre in a military-run school in the country’s northwest in the deadliest and most horrific attacks in years, officials said. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

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Young targets: Hospital security guards carried out the dead and wounded after the Taliban launched one of the most deadly terrorist attacks ever in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an army-run school that teaches children in grades one through 10. (Associated Press)

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Mourners and relatives of teacher Saeed Khan, a victim of a massive Taliban attack at a school, prayed around his body during his funeral procession in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Associated Press)

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FILE - In this May 3, 2011 file photo, local residents gather outside a house, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan. After U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin laden in Pakistan in May 2011, top CIA officials secretly told lawmakers that information gleaned from brutal interrogations played a key role in what was one of the spy agency’s greatest successes. CIA director Leon Panetta repeated that assertion in public, and it found its way into a critically acclaimed movie about the operation, Zero Dark Thirty, which depicts a detainee offering up the identity of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmad al- Kuwaiti, after being tortured at a CIA “black site.” As it turned out, Bin Laden was living in al Kuwaiti’s walled family compound, so tracking the courier was the key to finding the al-Qaida leader. (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash,File)

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Mig Syria .jpg

Image: Air Force, Pakistan

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A supporter of Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, takes a nap during sit-in protest in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Aug. 27, 2014. A Cabinet minister on Wednesday urged Pakistan's two key opposition figures leading mass rallies outside parliament to back off their demand for the prime minister's resignation in ongoing talks with the government. The call by Railways Minister Saad Rafiq came as authorities and the two opposition leaders — cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan and fiery cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri — were set to continue negotiations later in the day. (Associated Press)

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A New York City taxi driver was found guilty of arranging for two "honor killings" in Pakistan after several people helped his daughter escape an arranged marriage against his will. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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A New York City taxi driver was found guilty of arranging for two "honor killings" in Pakistan after several people helped his daughter escape an arranged marriage against his will. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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In this Friday, June 27, 2014, photo, a Pakistan army soldier checks a vehicle in Bannu, North Waziristan. Pakistan launched a ground offensive against Taliban strongholds near the Afghan border Monday after evacuating nearly half a million residents from the tribal region, the army said. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

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** FILE ** Pakistani human rights activists demonstrate outside Parliament in Islamabad in 2008. The brutality of recent "honor killings" and the police response sparked outrage in Pakistan. (Associated Press)

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Security guards rush to the scene to take up their positions around a training center for airport security personnel in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Gunmen in Pakistan attacked a training facility near the Karachi airport on Tuesday, a spokesman said. The facility is roughly one kilometer (half mile) from the Karachi international airport. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

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Pakistani commandos get ready to enter Karachi airport terminal following attacks by unknown gunmen on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

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** FILE ** A Pakistani Taliban militant holds a rocket-propelled grenade in the tribal region of Waziristan, Pakistan, a stronghold of the Haqqani network. (Associated Press)