U.S. military intelligence is shifting in Afghanistan to make hunting the Taliban and al-Qaida the top priority. Tracking Afghan culture and bolstering the Kabul government is becoming less important.
That's according to three current officials in Afghanistan, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
President Barack Obama's decision to start bringing home U.S. troops next month is part of shrinking U.S. ambitions from limited nation-building to ensuring that the Afghan government is good enough to prevent terrorists' safe havens from returning.
Targeting insurgent leaders and their support networks is seen as an important part of the U.S. exit strategy. The thinking is that Taliban leaders will be more ready for a deal if they feel threatened personally.