This thesis examines how the American counterinsurgency effort is developing in three provinces of northeastern Afghanistan: Kunar, Nangarhar and Nuristan. Also, it examines what features of the relationship between Pakistan and the United States that are affecting the counterinsurgency effort there. The focus is not only on internal issues within the provinces but also on whether and how external issues, mainly security issues originating from Pakistan’s border areas, are compounding difficulties to the current counterinsurgency effort in these provinces. Both the military as well as the civilian aspects of the counterinsurgency effort are subject to analysis. The analysis of the military aspects of the effort focuses primarily on problems related to civilian casualties and the location of firefights. The analysis of what can be considered the more civilian aspects focuses mainly on three issues: The engagement of the civilian population in reporting on so-called “improvised explosive devices” (IED), the use of insurgent courts vs. the use of government courts to solve local disputes, and the safety of Afghan government officials in the provinces. Having to deal closely with culture is one of the features of counterinsurgency that differentiates it from other types of military campaigns. Among other things, the analyses of the cultural aspects show the importance of making the civilian population that supports the insurgents “see” that the government is a better alternative than the insurgents. In Afghanistan, the counterinsurgents’ ability to produce visible and viable results, whether those are well-building programs or large governmental programs, is at the core of making the population that supports the insurgents “see” why the government should be supported. To be able to achieve this mission, the counterinsurgents, which in the case of Afghanistan are outsiders, must be aware of the “human terrain” that they operate within. Finally, the thesis finds that there are a number of interrelated aspects of the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan that affect the counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan, both directly and indirectly. It seems clear that not only the military, but also the economic support from U.S. to Pakistan, is of indirect importance. There are strong indications that the economic problems facing Pakistan create the soil for recruiting youth to extremist groups. Recruitment to these groups will also have consequences for the operations in Afghanistan, in particular in the eastern provinces that border Pakistan, and where the insurgents operate on both sides. Pakistan’s use of proxy groups, which also operate on both sides of the border, affects the counterinsurgency operations both directly and indirectly, because the U.S. considers the use of proxy groups as a sign of the Pakistani government’s lack of ability or even will to exert political control in their own country. On the other hand, the effect of drone strikes in Pakistan, specifically in the eastern provinces, seems to be that the U.S. undermines its own credibility in the operations in Afghanistan. In short, the instability in the relations between the U.S. and Pakistan seems to contribute to maintaining the political instability within Pakistan, which in turn makes the U.S. even more reluctant to give military and economic support to Pakistan. This somewhat vicious circle may very well increase the strength of the insurgent groups that have safe havens in Pakistan, and thus worsen the conditions for the counterinsurgency operations in eastern Afghanistan.