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.

The Re-Branding of MARSOC

MARSOC Officers training in a forest.

After proving themselves in special operations through the Marine Special Operations Command Detachment One in 2003, a pilot program formed in response to a Special Operations need in Iraq and Afghanistan, the MARSOC branch of Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was born. A decade ago, the need was met within the Special Operations community... more

Blinded Vets Say Not Enough Research Money Goes Toward Vision Injuries

Col. Michael J. Roy, who oversees the exposure therapy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., conducts a demonstration with Sgt. Lenearo Ashford, of a combat simulator, a form of PTSD treatment.(U.S. Army photo)

You might say that Tom Zampieri feels that military spending on eye injuries lacks vision. Even though eye wounds are the second most common combat injury in recent years behind hearing loss, a disproportionate amount of research money goes to prosthetics for soldiers who have lost limbs and studies on traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic ... more

Bulgarian Training Area Expecting More US, NATO Troops

A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams tank, manned by soldiers of the 3rd Combined Arms Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, rumbles across Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, following a live-fire exercise, June 25, 2015. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria – Even before Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula last year, the United States recognized the value of putting down roots in eastern Europe. After signing a defense agreement with Bulgaria in 2006, the U.S. government began a $60 million construction project at this training base, building nearly two doz... more

Soldiers' Clinic Fights Stigma Attached to Seeking Help

Fort Bragg 600x400

Fort Bragg's newest behavioral health clinic is expected to treat 10,000 soldiers a year. Perhaps more importantly, officials said it's a big step in fighting the stigma around soldiers seeking help. The West Bragg Embedded Behavioral Health Clinic is, by design, far from the campus of Womack Army Medical Center. The outpatient clinic, in a r... more

Taliban Suicide Bomber Hits NATO Convoy in Kabul, 2 Wounded

Armored vehicles remain at the site of a blast targeting the NATO convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 (AP Photo/Massoud Hossasini)

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide car bomber targeted a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, wounding at least two people, damaging several cars and shattering windows on a road in eastern Kabul, Afghan officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A NATO spokesman in Kabul, Col. Brian Tribus, confirmed the attack sho... more

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