The U.S. Army recently released a photo that pretty aptly sums up how the future of Afghanistan will be decided.

An Afghan operator, with a pretty epic beard and a dirty m-203, signals and communicates during a firefight in eastern Afghanistan while his American counterpart takes cover and sights in.

It's no doubt a great shot by the photographer, Pfc. David Devich. And it shows two things: as U.S. and coalition forces withdrawl from Afghanistan, the security of depends on the prowess and viability of the Afghan National Army and their ability to work with special forces, which will doubtlessly have a large role in the remain-behind element.

Here's hoping.