US role in Afghanistan focus of Karzai's American visit
8 January 2013 Last updated at 15:34 GMT
President Hamid Karzai is due in the US for a three-day visit seen as key to the future of the American presence in Afghanistan.
Mr Karzai wants US troops out of Afghan towns and villages but security issues remain a serious concern.
Some 30,000 foreign soldiers left Afghanistan last year, and most of the remainder are expected to pull out by the end of 2014.
Quentin Sommerville reports.