Afghan official inspects wreckage at the site of a suicide attack near Kabul military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 10. After a month outside the country, NPR's Sean Carberry returned to find some things that had changed, but many, like insurgent violence, that remain the same. Ahmad Jamshid/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ahmad Jamshid/AP

The Afghan Local Police is a semi-volunteer force. They are minimally paid and minimally trained, and when the Americans leave, they will be left to defend their country on their own. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles — MRAPs — like these are some of the more than $7 billion in equipment the U.S. Army is dismantling and selling as scrap in Afghanistan. Lucas Jackson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Lucas Jackson/AP

Afghan President Hamid Karzai reportedly pulled his representatives out of planned peace talks because of the flag and the nameplate at the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar. Both were legacies of the time the Taliban ruled the country and illustrated how sensitive such symbols can be. EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption EPA/Landov

When American forces leave the Panjwai area in November, Afghan security forces will have to find a way to work together across the spectrum of local and national forces. If they don't, the Taliban will continue to find a safe haven and mount attacks on Kandahar. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

U.S. Green Berets patrol with Afghan National Army special forces outside the village of Kasan, in Wardak province. The Green Berets along with the ANASF have been training Afghan local police to take the lead in their village stability and security. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

The gray line in the upper left comes from an aerial view of Afghanistan's crucial Highway 1, the main route between Kabul and Kandahar, the two biggest cities. U.S. forces are still working to secure the route which runs through lush farm valleys and the high desert terrain. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

A wounded Afghan police officer is helped from the scene of Friday's explosion and gunfire in Kabul. Omar Sobhani /Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Omar Sobhani /Reuters /Landov