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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.

Afghan Presidential Candidates Agree to Power-Sharing Deal

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai and incoming president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. (Photo by Associated Press)

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan's two presidential candidates signed a power-sharing deal Sunday, capped with a hug and a handshake, three months after a disputed runoff that threatened to plunge the country into turmoil and complicate the withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops. The incoming president -- Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai -- and Abdullah A... more

School Districts Stock Up on Military MRAPs, M16s, Grenade Launchers

The L.A. Unified's School District police department received a MRAP vehicle like this one through a federal program. (AP Photo/The Republican-American, Steven Valenti, File)

LOS ANGELES -- School police departments across the country have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine resistant armored vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles. At least 26 school districts have participated in the Pentagon's surplus program, which is not new but has come under scrutiny after police re... more

Militants Planned to Target US Ships With Hijacked Pakistani Frigate

Al-Qaida militants, who tried to hijack a Pakistan Navy frigate earlier this month, intended to use it to target U.S. Navy vessels on anti-terrorism patrol in the northwestern Indian Ocean, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing Pakistani security officials. The Sept. 6 raid, which was foiled after a firefight and a suicide bombi... more

France Strikes Islamic State Depot in Iraq

This remote camera screen grab photo provided Friday, Sept.19, 2014 by the French Army's video and photo department ECPAD shows two Rafale jet fighters fly over Iraq Friday. (AP Photo/ECPAD)

PARIS — Joining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, French fighter jets struck Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot, Iraqi and French officials said. That attack made France the first foreign country to publicly add military muscle to United States airstrikes against the group, which has drawn criticism ... more

Army Reserve Intelligence Unit is Moving from Newport to Arizona

Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

NEWPORT -- An Army Reserve military intelligence unit based at Naval Station Newport is moving to Arizona, and most of the personnel have been reassigned to units within commuting distance from Rhode Island, a lieutenant colonel said Wednesday. Kristina Green, brigade operations officer for 1st Brigade Military Intelligence based in Newport, sa... more

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