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 Guard Member Alleges He Was Fired after Training Schedule Changed

PORTLAND, Maine -- A member of the Maine Army National Guard has sued the owner of the G.H. Bass store in Freeport in federal court, alleging the company refused to keep him on after his annual training was rescheduled because of a unit change. The company claimed Zachary Grant, 25, of Pownal, quit, then tried to rescind his resignation. Store ... more

Coast Guard Cutter Rush Returns after Successful Deployment

Coast Guard Cutter Rush

HONOLULU — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Rush returned to its homeport following a successful 72-day deployment in the Central and Western Pacific, Monday. Rush departed in July 2014 and spent the last two months conducting operations in the Central and Western Pacific. During the deployment, Rush’s crew coordinated with multiple countries an... more

Air Force Will Drop 500-pound Bombs at Fort Benning

A-10 Thunderbolt II 600

The sonic boom generated by an Air Force fighter jet two weeks ago may have created a nervous, jaw-dropping moment for Columbus-area residents. Hopefully, that sound barrier-breaking effect by a Robins Air Force Base aircraft won't be repeated locally anytime soon. But Fort Benning did say Monday that the Air Force will be back in the air here ... more

Mother Fights for Freedom of Marine Jailed in Mexico

Andrew Tahmooressi

Sitting in a Mexican jail, cut off from the post-traumatic-stress-disorder therapy that prompted his move from Florida to California, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi "was more anxious than usual" today, said his mother Jill Tahmooressi. Tahmooressi, 25, has been jailed since April 1 after crossing into Mexico with three guns in his truck. While ... more

Afghanistan, US Sign Long-awaited Security Pact

Newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, center, arrives for an inauguration ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. Omar Sobhani/AP

KABUL, Afghanistan  — Afghanistan and the United States have signed a long-awaited security pact that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. At a Tuesday ceremony in the capital, Kabul, newly appointed national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar signed the document along with U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham. P... more

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