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.

A-10s Hitting ISIS Targets in Iraq


U.S. commanders have been sending A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft in recent weeks to hit ISIS targets in Iraq but not in Syria, Pentagon officials said Thursday. The use of the A-10s followed the announcement last month by military officials that A-10s had deployed in mid-November to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Reso... more

Report: Bullying, Abuse Contributed to Sailor's Suicide

guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams

A sailor's suicide on board the Norfolk-based destroyer James E. Williams in June can be blamed in part on a toxic command climate that involved bullying and reprisal, a command investigation has found. The investigation was spurred by the death of the sailor but grew in scope when investigators began examining the ship's leadership. What they ... more

Cuba Initiative Could Mean Changes for Guantanamo Base

Guantanamo guard

President Obama on Wednesday announced the beginning of the end of the decades-old U.S. embargo of Cuba, opening the door to normal relations by re-establishing an American embassy in Havana and sending a U.S. delegation there next month for talks on U.S.-Cuba migration. But left out of Obama's announcement is what normalization of relations... more

Ventura Sues HarperCollins Over 'American Sniper'

Jesse Ventura

Former Gov. Jesse Ventura filed suit Monday against HarperCollins, the New York publisher of the book that a federal jury in St. Paul said had defamed him. In July Ventura won $1.8 million from the estate of Chris Kyle , the late Navy SEAL who wrote the bestselling memoir "American Sniper," which... more

Wartime, Hollywood Photographer Phil Stern Dies

This Feb. 8, 2005 file photo, photographer Phil Stern walks past a gallery of photographs in Los Angeles, that he took of the late actor James Dean.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Stern , an award-winning photographer who lugged his camera into combat during World War II and later became known for candid shots of Hollywood stars like Marlon Brando , has died. He was 95. Stern died Saturday in Los Angeles after being hospitalized, said David Fahey ,... more

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