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.
Associated Press | Mar 11, 2014
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of 105 lawmakers urged the Defense Department on Monday to make it easier for practicing Sikh Americans who wear beards and turbans to serve in the military. The House members wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calling for an end to a "presumptive ban" on Sikhs serving. Under a policy announced in January, t... more
Military.com | Mar 11, 2014
The Army's top enlisted leader said the service would have already adopted a replacement for its ineffective Universal Camouflage Pattern had Congress not moved to halt costly service-specific camouflage patterns. The Army was poised to announce the results of its multi-year camouflage improvement effort nearly a year ago, but congressiona... more
Associated Press | Mar 11, 2014
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Attorneys for an Army general charged with sexual assault said Tuesday that they have decided to try to renegotiate a plea bargain with a new set of military officials after the judge determined that the case may have been improperly influenced by political concerns. Judge Col. James Pohl sent the jury of generals back to the... more
Stars and Stripes | Mar 07, 2014
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan -- The captain of the USS Germantown has been relieved of command for failure to use good judgment and uphold standards in relation to a sexual assault investigation involving one of the ship's top sailors, Navy officials said Monday. Cmdr. Jason Leach was removed Friday by Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet commander Rear ... more
Military.com | Mar 10, 2014
The Senate on Monday unanimously passed a bipartisan bill aimed at cracking down on sexual assault in the military by providing victims help in reporting attacks. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Senate that the Victims Protection Act of 2013 "will make a serious contribution to protecting the troop... more