On the day General David Petraeus arrived in Afghanistan the biggest vote yet to demand an exit timetable from the country, 164 votes, was secured in the US House of Representatives.
Although it also approved 33 billion dollars to fund the troop surge it is hoped will bring victory, the vote was the latest sign time may be running out for the army to deliver it.
More than 100 NATO troops were killed last month, the bloodiest in the nine-year war, and Friday also saw a daring Taliban raid in the otherwise mostly peaceful north, in Kunduz.
A Briton, German, Philipino and two Afghans died when the offices of a US logistical support company for American government aid was hit by a pre-dawn attack. All six insurgents involved were also killed.