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.
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Smugglers used U.S. military mail to bring 3.7 pounds of marijuana into Japan through Yokota Air Base – home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo, according to U.S. and Japanese officials. “Japanese customs officials at Yokota Air Base discovered marijuana being sent to an APO box in September,” Yokota officials said... more
THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was destroyed by a Buk surface-to-air missile over eastern Ukraine, the Dutch Safety Board said Tuesday as it presented the results of an official probe into the crash. The missile's Russian maker, however, presented its own report hours earlier, trying to clear Russia-backed separatists wh... more
DAMASCUS, Syria -- Insurgents fired two shells at the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital on Tuesday as hundreds of pro-government supporters gathered outside the compound to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria. An Associated Press reporter was outside the embassy when the first shell slammed into the compound in central Damascus and s... more
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's parliament voted Tuesday to support implementing a landmark nuclear deal struck with world powers despite hard-line attempts to derail the bill, suggesting the historic accord will be carried out. The bill will be reviewed by Iran's 12-member Guardian Council, a group of senior clerics who could return it to lawmakers for... more
NORFOLK, Va. -- It's been a decade since Olivia Rux attended a memorial ceremony for her husband Kevin and the 16 other sailors who were killed in a 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole while it was in port in Yemen. But as the Navy marked the 15th anniversary of the attack on Monday, she felt it was time to return to the Cole's home port at N... more