Kabul province, with the exception of one eastern district, is one of three provinces being handed over. In the capital itself, most people expect that in the event of crisis, Afghan authorities will continue to seek the aid of NATO troops headquartered in the city, as they did during last month's siege of a landmark hotel by insurgent attackers.
And most believe that if Taliban fighters are determined to strike a given target, they will, no matter how well-guarded the area. That was underscored last week when assailants killed a senior aide to President Hamid Karzai in an wealthy district of Kabul. Volleys of gunfire rang late into the night.