By Casey Stegall, ,
Published November 16, 2015
It's something you would not have seen at the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. Up until seven years ago, there was no such thing as a military or prominent police force in the country.
Now, thanks to U.S. forces and training, there are roughly 107,000 members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and nearly 100,000 members of the Afghan National Police (ANP) at work in the country.
"What you're seeing out here is our Special Forces soldiers training the Afghans, showing them how to shoot, move and communicate," a U.S. Joint Special Ops Major, known for security reasons simply as "Major Andy," told FOX News.
The Pentagon has spent $18 million on the training, as top military officials say the war simply cannot be won without training and empowering the locals.
"The only way you can do that is by providing security. They have to feel safe and secure in their own environment and that the Afghan forces are out there providing that security," the Major told FOX News.
It's a process that won't happen quickly, but coalition forces say they're already starting to see progress, despite some reports about widespread corruption and waste with the ANA ranks.
Besides creating security with an Afghan face, American military strategy also depends on civilian outreach, like providing medical services to nearby villagers.
Waiting rooms at Farah Forward Operating Base are overflowing with people seeking medical attention who couldn't get to a doctor otherwise. That's where the U.S. military comes in, winning the hearts and minds with stethescopes and bandages.
The Army and Navy opened a free clinic three days a week for people living near the base. It is the only access to medicine that most of the locals ever get.
"It's very very emotional. I must admit, the first day I was here, I just found myself looking at the patients. I was just in awe with the way they live," Navy Commander Nancy Delaney told FOX News.
Doctors there see everything from colds to cancer, young and old, men and women.
"The philosophy behind all of this, not only are we treating these patients, but we're trying to mentor the physicians and nurses who live here," Delaney said.
But building infrastructure to leave behind, whether civilian or military, takes time. And with sentiment back at home questioning the war effort, that time may be running out.