With violence in Iraq gradually ebbing away, reports suggest that a growing number of Al Qaeda insurgents are turning their attention to the original battleground for the War on Terror.
Fighting in Afghanistan rose by 33 per cent last year, according to Nato, as the country struggled to contain tribal rivalries as well as an unrelenting wave of attacks spearheaded by Pakistan-based militants.
Adding to those woes, defence minister Abdul Rahim Wardak now says that success in Iraq appears to have prompted a new influx of foreign militants, who believe the battle for Afghanistan can still be won.
"Since last year, as the result of the success of the surge in Iraq, there has been a flow of foreign terrorists into Afghanistan," Mr Wardak told reporters.
The insurgents are swelling the ranks of 15,000 existent Taliban fighters, bringing with them technical expertise about suicide bombings and IED attacks that they perfected to such devastating effect in Iraq.
Immediately after the 2001 US invasion, large-scale terror attacks were rare in Afghanistan. But the incidence of suicide bombings has gradually increased - peaking at 137 in 2007 - while violent civilian deaths are also up a disturbing 40 per cent, reaching 2,100 last year.
In the most recent Iraq-style attack, a bomber strapped with explosives killed 21 Afghan policeman in Uruzgan province on Monday.
Blaming Iraqi insurgents for much of the violence, the Afghan defence minister noted: "In some ... [recent military] engagements, actually 60 per cent of the total force which we have encountered were foreign fighters."
However, America is making its own provisions for countering resurgent Afghan violence. US president Barack Obama has outlined plans to send 17,000 extra soldiers to the country, boosting US forces by almost 50 per cent.
That initiative mirrors the troop surge that proved so effective in Baghdad, and will be accompanied by the launch of 'Awakening'-style movements - paramilitary security partnerships between US forces and tribal militia, which also helped turn public sentiment against Al Qaeda in Iraq.
But the jury is still out on whether the strategy can work in Afghanistan - a country with a long history of expelling foreign forces, and which is relentlessly antagonised by Al Qaeda's leadership across the border in Pakistan.
For its part, the Taliban is predictably dismissive. "[The US army is] like a drowning person trying to grab any object floating by," one recent communiqué read. "They are repeating the same experience of the communists."