There are almost 4,000 Italian troops in Afghanistan. They are mainly stationed in the western and south-western part of the country and patrol areas such as Bala Murghab, the Zirko Valley and Bala Baluk, in the heart of Taliban land. The Italians are working to put into practice the new counter-insurgency doctrine. But in 2014 they will be pulling out along with other international troops. What happens after that is anyone's guess.