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.

Medal Honors Guardsman for Saving Woman's Life

The U.S. Air Force medal ceremony honoring Tech Sgt. Shawn Rucker lasted far longer and caused Rucker more prolonged anxiety than what he endured on the night he saved Nancy Shatley's life. Even so, Rucker, looking a little embarrassed in his dress blues, managed one more act of generosity to the Shatley family on Monday. Rucker two years ago ... more

Trial Begins over Navy Silencer Contract

Silencer attachment

ALEXANDRIA, Va.  — A Navy intelligence officer illegally diverted nearly $2 million in government funds to his boss's brother under a secret, illegitimate contract to build hundreds of untraceable rifle silencers, prosecutors said Monday in laying out their case against the officer. In opening trial statements in Alexandria, prosecutors said th... more

Attacks on Afghan Checkpoints Kill 4 Troops

KABUL, Afghanistan — Officials say insurgents have attacked several army checkpoints in eastern and southern Afghanistan, killing at least four troops and wounding several people. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which happened Sunday, but the Taliban have stepped up assaults on Afghan and NATO forces ahead of the pullout of m... more

Benefits of Adopting Senior Pets

senior dog

Your new best friend might be anyone but new; he or she just might be a senior pet. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month and a time worth considering the many benefits of senior pet adoption. Mature dogs and cats have many advantages when compared to their younger counterparts yet are often the first to face death or permanent homeless... more

Archaeologists Seek Movie Set in California Sands

demille ten commandments movie

GUADALUPE, Calif. (AP) — Archaeologists working in the sand dunes along the Central California coast are digging up ancient sphinxes — but these are made of plaster. More than 90 years ago, legendary filmmaker Cecile B. DeMille erected 21 giant sphinxes and an 800-foot-wide temple as a set for the silent, black-and-white classi... more

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