And it's creeping ever closer to the Afghan capital.
In a video obtained by CBS News, a U.S. convoy is attacked less than 20 miles from Kabul.
"I think in Afghanistan, we really dropped the ball for a long time," said Karin von Hippel of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
It's now widely agreed America's new president needs a new approach, CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan reports.
President-elect Obama's emerging strategy appears to shift focus to a regional solution to Afghanistan's problems.
"A regional approach really means looking at Afghanistan and Pakistan through a similar lens but also it should also mean bringing in China, bringing in India, bringing in Iran, bringing in the neighbors to make sure that everyone is part of the same solution," von Hippel said.
An exclusive video from Pakistan's tribal areas shows a group of young boys being indoctrinated. As Logan reports, this is the cost of not bringing in Afghanistan's neighbors.
According to the Taliban, the boys' fate is to become suicide bombers over the Afghan border. The teenage boy seen in the video is about to blow himself up.
The tape shows him saying goodbye to the men who packed his vehicle with explosives and heading off to find an American target.
The boy's mentors erupt in victory cries as they film the suicide blast.
Taliban attacks and U.S. casualties are the highest this year since the war in Afghanistan began.
The region is so connected, that any of Afghanistan's neighbors could facilitate peace and security - or, as has been seen, make the situation a lot worse.