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.

Obama Broadens Mission to Allow US Troops to Engage Taliban Fighters

U.S. troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- U.S. troops in Afghanistan may once again engage Taliban fighters, not just al-Qaida terrorists, under new guidelines quietly approved by President Barack Obama, administration officials say. The armed forces were to limit their operations in Afghanistan to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, until Obama br... more

U.S. Provides Emergency Airlift of Winter Supplies to Northern Iraq

Iraq Shiite fighters make their way to the front line to fight militants from the extremist Islamic State group in Jurf al-Sakhar, 43 miles (70 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Aug 18, 2014. (AP Photo/ Hadi MIzban)

SANAA, Yemen -- Yemen's al-Qaida branch on Friday denounced the Islamic State group for declaring a caliphate on territory it seized in Syria and Iraq and for aggressively seeking to expand its area of influence. The al-Qaida Yemeni offshoot's purported spiritual guide, Sheikh Harith al-Nadhari, said such expansionist intentions are "driving a ... more

Al-Qaeda in Yemen Denounces ISIS

SANAA, Yemen -- Yemen's al-Qaida branch on Friday denounced the Islamic State group for declaring a caliphate on territory it seized in Syria and Iraq and for aggressively seeking to expand its area of influence. The al-Qaida Yemeni offshoot's purported spiritual guide, Sheikh Harith al-Nadhari, said such expansionist intentions are "driving a ... more

Dempsey: Military Policy Faces Challenges in an Era Without Secrets

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey

WASHINGTON -- The chasm between the U.S. military and the country's civilian population has grown so wide as to appear unbridgeable. But in the realm of cable news and social media, where decisions on national security are parsed without pause, the gap has vanished -- at least from the vantage point of the nation's top military official. "Almos... more

Military Blocks Troop Pay Check Allotments for Personal Property

Wallet with cash (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Grace Lee)

Service members will soon be blocked from setting up new paycheck allotments for personal property, Defense Department officials announced today. The change, which officials said is designed to protect troops from "unscrupulous commercial lenders," will go into effect Jan. 1, according to the military announcement. "This will significantly... more

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