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.

China, North Korea Criticize US Over Ferguson Situation

North Korean soldiers watch the south side with cameras in July 2013 at the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea. Lee Jin-man/AP

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan -- North Korea and China criticized the United States' human rights record after a grand jury decided not to press charges against a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo. While China veiled its criticism Tuesday, North Korea, which is believed to run a vast network of concentration ca... more

Afghan President Orders Military Review

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. AP photo

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the practices of the country's defense forces, including discussing the resumption of controversial night raids banned by his predecessor. The move appears aimed at revamping the military for the fight against the Taliban amid new indications that U.S. an... more

Guard Reinforcements Contain Damage in Ferguson

Members of the Missouri National Guard stand watch outside a command post near a protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

FERGUSON, Mo. -- National Guard reinforcements helped contain the latest protests in Ferguson, preventing a second night of the chaos that led to arson and looting after a grand jury decided not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown. Demonstrators returned Tuesday to the riot-scarred streets. But with hundreds of addition... more

Ebola Isolation at US Base 'Pretty Much Vacation'

Contractors take a break from working on the entertainment room, called "the Hub," at the Langley Transit Center at Langley Air Force Base. The Hub features board games, computers, television sets, and video game consoles. Natasha Stannard/Air Force

HAMPTON, Va. -- With plenty of flat screen TVs, game nights and even an outdoor fire pit, life in isolation for members of the U.S. military who have returned from the Ebola mission in West Africa can look a lot like summer camp. The Defense Department is requiring military service members to undergo 21 days of isolation and monitoring as a pr... more

Obama Appears to Be Seeking a More Forceful Defense Secretary

Ashton Carter. DoD photo by R.D. Ward

REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON -- As he searches for his fourth defense secretary in six years, President Obama appears to be looking for a more forceful, articulate military leader to navigate the tough but limited wars that are likely to consume much of his final two years in office. Finding a candidate with deep Pentagon experience who can help s... more

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