The U.S. government used the term “Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan” to officially describe the War in Afghanistan, from the period between October 2001 and December 2014. Continued operations in Afghanistan by the United States’ military forces, both non-combat and combat, now occur under the name Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
The operation was originally called “Operation Infinite Justice”, but as similar phrases have been used by adherents of several religions as an exclusive description of God, it is believed to have been changed to avoid offense to Muslims, who are the majority religion in Afghanistan. In September 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush’s remark that “this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while”, which prompted widespread criticism from the Islamic world, may also have contributed to the renaming of the operation.
The term “OEF-A” typically refers to the phase of the War in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. Other operations, such as the Georgia Train and Equip Program, are only loosely or nominally connected, such as through government funding vehicles.All the operations, however, have a focus on counterterrorism activities.
Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan, which was a joint U.S., U.K., and Afghan operation, was separate from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which was an operation of North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations including the U.S. and the U.K. The two operations ran in parallel, and although it had been suggested that they merge.
The First Battle of Donetsk Airport was a conflict between separatist insurgents associated with the Donetsk People’s Republic and Ukrainian government forces that took place at Donetsk International Airport on 26–27 May 2014, as part of the War in Donbass that began after the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. A second battle broke out at the airport on 28 September 2014.
The Ukrainian government started an “anti-terrorist” operation against pro-Russian insurgents in the Donetsk Oblast in early April 2014. Pro-Russian protesters and insurgents affiliated with the Donetsk People’s Republic captured and occupied numerous government buildings, towns, and territories in the region. In Donetsk city itself, many government buildings were under separatist control. Donetsk International Airport remained outside of insurgent control.
In a further sign of Russia’s long-term commitment to Syria, Moscow says it plans to establish a permanent naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus.
Russian deputy defense minister Nikolai Pankov says necessary documents are already prepared and are in the process of being approved. The naval base, sits on the site of an existing facility Russia has leased from Syria. Moscow has been beefing up its military presence in Syria. It deployed the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles in Tartus last week. This, as the US has stepped up anti-Syria rhetoric. Russia inherited the naval facility at Tartus when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The base is of immense strategic importance, as its Russia’s sole foothold in the Mediterranean Sea.
Operation Moshtarak (Dari for Together or Joint), also known as the Battle of Marjah, an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) pacification offensive in the town of Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. It involved 15,000 American, Afghan, Canadian, Estonian, Danish and British troops and constituted the largest joint operation of the War in Afghanistan up to that point and aimed to remove the Taliban from Marja and eliminate the last Taliban stronghold in central Helmand Province. The main target of the offensive was the town of Marjah, which had been controlled for years by the Taliban as well as drug traffickers. Although Moshtarak was described as the largest in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, it was originally supposed to be the prelude to a much larger offensive in Kandahar that would follow Moshtarak by several months. However ISAF chose to heavily publicize the operation before it was launched, comparing its scope and size to the 2004 Second Battle of Fallujah, in the hopes that Taliban fighters in the town would flee. The operation was also designed to showcase improvements in both the Afghan government and Afghan security forces. ISAF claimed that the operation was “Afghan-led” and would use five Afghan brigades. General Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of ISAF, also promised that following the offensive ISAF would install a “government in a box” in Marja.
Although initially successful, ISAF and the Afghans failed to set up a working government in the town, leading to a successful resurgence by the Taliban; 90 days into the offensive General McChrystal famously referred to it as a “bleeding ulcer”. In October the town was still described as “troubling”, but by early December the fighting there was declared “essentially over”.
In 2014, Russia made several military incursions into Ukrainian territory. Beginning with Crimea, Russian soldiers without insignias took control of strategic positions and infrastructure within the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, which Russia annexed after a disputed referendum. Subsequently, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbass area of Ukraine escalated into an armed conflict between the Ukrainian government and separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. In August, Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast The incursion by the Russian military was seen as responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September.
In November 2014, the Ukrainian military reported intensive movement of troops and equipment from Russia into the separatist controlled parts of eastern Ukraine. The Associated Press reported 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move in rebel-controlled areas. An OSCE Special Monitoring Mission observed convoys of heavy weapons and tanks in DPR-controlled territory without insignia. According to a former Pentagon strategy adviser there were as many as 7,000 Russian troops inside Ukraine in early November 2014, and OSCE monitors stated they observed vehicles transporting ammunition and soldiers’ dead bodies crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border under the guise of humanitarian aid convoys. As of early August 2015, OSCE observed over 21 such vehicles marked with the Russian military code for soldiers killed in action. According to The Moscow Times, Russia has tried to intimidate and silence human rights workers discussing Russian soldiers’ deaths in the conflict. OSCE repeatedly reported that its observers were denied access to the areas controlled by “combined Russian-separatist forces”.
The majority of members of the international community and organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Russia for its actions in post-revolutionary Ukraine, accusing it of breaking international law and violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Many countries implemented economic sanctions against Russia, Russian individuals or companies – to which Russia responded in kind.
In October 2015, the Washington Post reported that Russia has redeployed some of its elite units from Ukraine to Syria in recent weeks to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In December 2015, Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine.