Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply. Life in Kabul goes on, but the city seems to be nearing its breaking point.
This Fourth of July is a special one for 44 soldiers and Marines serving in Afghanistan. They hail from 24 different countries and range in age from 19 to 34. But they have one thing in common: They were naturalized as U.S. citizens in a ceremony last week.
On Independence Day, we continue an occasional series, Those Who Serve, with a story about an Army captain who grew up hearing about the exploits of his grandfathers in Asia during World War II. Now he's a captain serving in Afghanistan.
Despite billions of dollars in projects over the past decade, only about one-third of the Afghan population has access to regular power. The country imports electricity, but existing distribution lines aren't adequate. The lack of a reliable power supply is severely limiting economic growth.
In his new book Little America, Washington Post correspondent RajivChandrasekaran traces the decision-making process by senior American military officials during the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan and analyzes their struggle to develop successful policies on the ground.
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