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.

Report: Russia Defeats NATO in Baltic War Game

An Abrams tank from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division fires its 120 mm main gun during a live-fire exercise in June 2015 at the Central Training Area near Tapa, Estonia. Joshua S. Brandenburg/U.S. Army

STUTTGART, Germany -- A Russian offensive on NATO territory in the Baltics would overwhelm underarmed alliance forces in a matter of hours, leaving NATO with a harsh dilemma: Launch a long, bloody counteroffensive or concede defeat. That is the conclusion of a new report by Rand Corp., which conducted a series of elaborate war games from summer... more

VA: Incorrect Wait Times Recorded at Colorado Springs Clinic

VA plaque

DENVER -- Workers at a Colorado Springs VA clinic incorrectly reported that some veterans got appointments sooner than they actually did, while at least 288 veterans had to wait longer than the government's 30-day target, federal investigators said Thursday. The investigators didn't say whether the records were deliberately falsified to make th... more

Pregnant SOUTHCOM Service Member Moved to Avoid Zika Virus

Examining a mosquito trap in San Juan, Panama, on June 6, 2015, are, from left: Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Peet, Lt. Cmdr. James Dunford and a regional vector control specialist. Derek Paumen/U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON -- A pregnant service member stationed in an area where the Zika virus has been detected was moved to avoid contracting the disease, though no troops are known to have the mosquito-borne illness, a U.S. Southern Command spokesman said Thursday. SOUTHCOM issued a voluntary relocation option for pregnant troops, their family members an... more

F-35 Still Dogged With 'Deficiencies': Pentagon Report

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

The U.S. military's futuristic F-35 fighter jet remains dogged by dangerous problems sure to further complicate what is already the most expensive weapons project in history, a Pentagon report says. The plane, which boasts a version that can take off and land vertically, is supposed to form the backbone of the military's future fighter fleet, e... more

Pentagon to Add Funding for F-35 Fighter Jets, Combined Arms Training

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Funding for the Marine Corps' new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18 Hornet will get a boost next year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told troops this week. During a visit on Wednesday to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, coming a week before the release of the Pentagon's proposed fiscal 2017 budget, Carter told Marines tha... more

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