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Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Mario Tenario, Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division trains Afghan National Army soldiers how to inspect equipment.

Considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world, Afghanistan has been wracked by continuous war for over three decades. The U.S., U.K., Australia, France, and Afghan United Front began Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7th, 2001 in response to the September 11th attacks in the U.S. The mission focused on the the overthrow of the Taliban government, as well as the ouster of Al Qaida and it leaders, including Osama Bin Laden. With over a decade of combat, it has become the second longest war in the U.S. history. The conflict has resulted in over two thousand U.S. troops killed.

With the death of Bin Laden, the U.S. is formulating plans for withdrawal from the region. President Obama has announced an end to combat operations, but an unknown number of troops will likely remain in the country after the 2014 deadline. Afghanistan is currently seeking financial assistance from other countries to assist in the reconstruction process.

Afghanistan has been populated for millennia, seeing the rise and fall of empires, kingdoms, and religions. Islam -- which influences much of its current culture and politics -- is the most popular religion in the region. The current estimated population is over 30 million, with Pashtun and Tajik as the two largest ethnicities.

US Evacuates Embassy in Libya with F-16 Support

US and Libyan flags

Military.com | Jul 27, 2014

WASHINGTON -- More than 100 U.S. State Department staff members including the Marine guards were evacuated safely Saturday from the U.S. Embassy in Libya by convoy to Tunisia as Air Force F-16 fighters flew cover overhead. Embassy personnel reportedly destroyed classified documents or carried them away before joining the column of vehicles on t... more

Hamas Agrees to 24-hour Holiday Truce in Gaza War

Smoke and fire rise from an Israeli missile strike in Rafah, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

Associated Press | Jul 27, 2014

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Hamas on Sunday agreed to observe a 24-hour humanitarian truce after initially rejecting such an offer by Israel, as fighting resumed and the two sides wrangled over the terms of a lull the international community hopes can be expanded into a more sustainable truce.   Between the rival announcements Palestinian militan... more

US Says China Tested Anti-satellite Missile

Associated Press | Jul 26, 2014

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. says China has tested a missile designed to destroy satellites and is urging Beijing to refrain from destabilizing actions.   State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the "non-destructive" test occurred Wednesday. She said a previous destructive test of the system in 2007 created thousands of pieces of dangerous debr... more

Afghan Taliban Leader Warns against Pact With US

Associated Press | Jul 26, 2014

KABUL, Afghanistan -- In a blow to hopes for peace talks, the Taliban's reclusive leader warned Friday that a bilateral security pact allowing thousands of U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of this year will mean more fighting.   The Americans and NATO allies are winding down combat operations but want to leave a residual force... more

US: Russia is Firing across Border into Ukraine

Ukraine sailors prepare to protect their base against Russian intrusion at Novoozernaya, Crimea, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (Sergei L. Loiko/Los Angeles Times)

Associated Press | Jul 26, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine -- Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.   Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian vi... more

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