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.

Army Corrects Retirement Inequity

About 160 Army officers pegged to be forced out of the service with reduced benefits will now be allowed to remain on active duty or retire with full benefits after an Army review found numerous officers were unfairly targeted. “Under the criteria for officer separations, these soldiers should not have been considered,” Secretary of the Army Jo... more

Bergdahl Investigation Wraps Up; Top Leaders Get Briefings

Bowe Bergdahl

WASHINGTON — The Army has finished its investigation into how and why Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his base in Afghanistan and plans to brief Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this afternoon, officials said Friday. Details about the probe's conclusion have been closely held. The report could include recommendations on whether Bergdahl ... more

UK Report: Combat Positions for Women by 2016

LONDON -- Women could assume combat roles in the British military by 2016, the U.K. secretary of defense said Friday. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon commented on a 29-page Defense Ministry report, issued earlier in December, which said a current ban on women serving in close combat roles called for additional research regarding the physical d... more

Air Guard Christens New Home for Arizona Drones

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SIERRA VISTA -- After remotely flying unmanned aircraft over Iraq and Afghanistan for years, Arizona's Air National Guard drone pilots can finally take off and land close to home. On Thursday, the Arizona Air National Guard 214th Reconnaissance Group christened a new hangar and support facility at Fort Huachuca's Libby Army Airfield that eventu... more

Afghanistan’s Future in Doubt as U.S. Ends Combat Role

Staff Sgt. David Flores gives one last safety briefing to his students in 4th Brigade, 201st Afghan National Army Corps, to kick of the final day of their month-long 60mm mortar system training course. (U.S. Army photo)

Thirteen years of war in Afghanistan have left the American public, U.S. service members and the Afghans themselves at odds on what has been achieved and what must be done to prop up the new Kabul government in the years ahead with Americans no longer in a combat role. The conflicting assessments are playing out against the backdrop of daily at... more

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