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DOD Report: Afghan Situation Improving: Last year's surge of 40,000 US and coalition troops into Afghanistan has led to "tangible progress" toward peace there, states a new biannual Pentagon report. Among the findings, the influx of those forces allowed the coalition to expand the districts that now have a local Afghan police presence—a stabilizing factor—from just eight last September to 34 now, states the Report on Progress Toward Security, Governance, and the Economy of Afghanistan, dated April. The report assessed the situation in Afghanistan from Oct. 1, 2010, through March 31. Roughly 75 percent of Afghans indicated that it would "be bad for the country" if the Taliban returned to power, up seven percent from the last reporting period. The report also notes increased friction between extremist leaders operating out of Pakistan and the rank-and-file insurgents in Afghanistan. (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel) (full report; caution, large file.)