Akmal Sawi stands in front of his childhood apartment. To sell the property, he had to pay $3,000 in bribes. Tom Bullock/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Bullock/NPR

Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar is the only public hospital serving five provinces in southern Afghanistan. The hospital is in the middle of a war zone, but it continues to strive to provide better care with the development help of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Holly Pickett for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Holly Pickett for NPR

Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar is the only public hospital serving five southern provinces in Afghanistan. In the children's intensive care unit, toddlers sleep two or three to a bed. Holly Pickett for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Holly Pickett for NPR

A massive effort is under way to train thousands of new troops in Afghanistan. Emilio Morenatti/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Emilio Morenatti/AP

Afghan President Hamid Karzai passes an honor guard in Kabul before his swearing-in ceremony last month as the country's president for another five-year term. Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images