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.

VA Removes Alabama Medical Director at Center of Scandal

VA building

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has removed an Alabama director who oversaw officials accused of falsifying data and manipulating patient records. James Talton was the director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System and had been on paid administrative leave since August, after revelations surfaced ranging from long wa... more

PTSD Argued in Case of Marine Jailed in Mexico

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25

SAN DIEGO -- There's no dispute retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi drove with three loaded guns in his truck into Mexico where firearms are illegal. Tahmooressi says he got lost on a California freeway ramp that sent him across the border with no way to turn back. His attorney argues Mexican Customs officials also violated his rights by hol... more

US Officials See Signs of New Life in Iraqi Army

An Iraqi Army trainer leads a course in building clearance at the Besmaya Training Center on Dec. 17, 2009. Much of the training at the American-funded center was led by an Iraqi cadre of some 800 soldiers. Stars and Stripes photo

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Iraq's fractured army has begun to regroup and stage modest, localized attacks on the Islamic State militants who routed them last spring and summer, but they are unlikely to be ready to launch a major counteroffensive for many months, senior U.S. military officials say. "We've seen them start to act like an arm... more

Report Finds Army Discriminated Against Transgender Employee

The Pentagon celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender Pride Month in 2012. A transgender Army civilian faced repeated instances of discrimination and humiliation, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced. Chad J. McNeeley/Navy

A transgender Army civilian, who was restricted from using a female bathroom in the workplace and was called "sir" by colleagues, faced repeated instances of discrimination and humiliation at the hands of the Department of the Army, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced Thursday in a ruling that is being hailed as a landmark decision. Wh... more

Contractors' Deal Averts New Breakdown in POV Shipments

Inspecting car

WASHINGTON -- The military's troubled system for shipping privately owned vehicles appears to have dodged a major breakdown Wednesday after a dispute was settled by the main contractor and a subcontractor responsible for overseas transport. International Auto Logistics, which took over POV shipping earlier this year, reached an agreement in Geo... more

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