Trucks carrying goods from Iran to Iraq queue for inspection about 90 miles from the southeastern Iraqi city of Amara. These days, Iraqi truckers face more delays than mortal danger while working, but life remains a challenge. Essam al-Sudani/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Essam al-Sudani/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden (right) concludes a meeting with Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi on Jan. 14 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Tim Sloan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Tim Sloan/AFP via Getty Images

Debris litters the road after two bombings in the western city of Ramadi, about 60 miles from Baghdad, on Dec. 30. Violence has escalated recently in Anbar province, once the stronghold of al-Qaida in Iraq. Azhar Shallal/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Azhar Shallal/AFP/Getty Images

When security in Iraq began to erode, the effort to politically empower women fell by the wayside. Alaa al-Marjani/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alaa al-Marjani/AP

Father Saad Sirop Hanna of St. Joseph's Church in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad greets worshippers at the Christmas Eve Mass. Susannah George/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Susannah George/NPR