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.

Remains of 36 Unidentified Marines from WWII Battle Return

U.S. Marines carry the remains of 36 unidentified Marines found at a World War II battlefield during a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — The military and a private organization have brought home the remains of 36 Marines killed in one of World War II's bloodiest battles. A group called History Flight recovered the remains from the remote Pacific atoll of Tarawa, the U.S. Marine Corps said. A ceremony was held Sunday in Pearl Harbor to mar... more

Ailing Vets Sue, Say Toxic Burn Pits Cost Them Their Health

.In this undated file photo Master Sgt. Darryl Sterling tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit at Balad Air Base, Iraq.

Hundreds of soldiers who've come home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now are battling the very companies that helped operate their base camps, claiming constant exposure to toxins from open-air burn pits has wrecked their health. David Montoya, 44, of Farmington is one of newest litigants suing the companies. Cancer that started in his colon... more

Marine Corps Will 'Soon' Announce F-35 Ready for Initial Operations


The U.S. Marine Corps is expected to announce the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is ready to fly initial operations in the near future, a general said. During a conference call with reporters on Monday afternoon, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the service's deputy commandant for aviation, said the F-35B jump-jet version of the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made pl... more

US to Send More Troops and Aircraft to Turkey to Combat ISIS

A Turkish Air Force Security Forces patrolman, (left) and Staff Sgt. Ryan Schaefer (right) work as a team during a joint patrol Oct. 22, 2010, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Patrolmen (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley Wood)

The U.S. will be sending more Air Force personnel and aircraft to Turkey to combat ISIS but plans for a no-fly zone over the Syria-Turkey border remain on hold, Pentagon officials said Monday. "We're holding ongoing consultations with the Turks," said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, but currently "we have no plans for impositio... more

US, Turkey Aim for ISIS-Free Zone in Northern Syria

Police officers patrol as Turkish police raided homes in Haci Bayram neighborhood in the capital Ankara, Turkey, Monday, July 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

BEIRUT — The United States and Turkey are finalizing plans for a military campaign to push the Islamic State group out of a strip of Syrian territory along the Turkish border, a move that would further embroil Turkey in Syria's civil war and set up a potential conflict with U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. A U.S. official said Monday that the creat... more

© 2015 Military Advantage