WSVN — The war in Afghanistan moved into its ninth year with a promise from the president.
President Barack Obama: "The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something."
The president affirming America's commitment to destroying Al-Qaida and its allies. NATO forces grew to their largest numbers since 2001.
Some progress was made: one of the Taliban's top military commanders was arrested during a secret raid in Pakistan.
Man: "This has been what we have been asking for over the past eight years."
But there were also setbacks.
President Barack Obama: "Today, I accepted General Stanley McChrystal's resignation."
The man in charge of the war resigned after criticizing the US war effort in Rolling Stone Magazine. General David Petraeus took over.
While troops remain in Afghanistan, US soldiers moved out of Iraq.
President Barack Obama: "Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended."
About 50,000 troops still remain in the country to advise Iraqi forces.
Another international crisis occurred after North Korea bombed a South Korea fishing community and military base, killing four people. The US and South Korea then began naval exercises meant as a warning to North Korea.
An attack against the US military this year came from the Internet.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief: "This disclosure is about the truth."
WikiLeaks released 15,000 secret Afghan war documents after publishing nearly 400,000 classified pages from the Iraq war.
WikiLeaks was at it again last month, releasing thousands of classified diplomatic cables.
Chaos in Europe: three people were killed in firebomb attacks on a bank in Athens.
About 20,000 laborers took to the streets in protest of proposed government cutbacks.
Rioting occurred in France as well after workers went on strike over the government's proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.
And in London, thousands of protesters marched against a massive college tuition hike.
And earlier this month, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, got caught in the chaos of another student riot. They were not hurt, but their car was damaged.
Europe was also brought to a standstill by this. A volcano in Iceland erupted, sending an ash plum across the continent. Sweden, England, Ireland, France: planes were grounded as dozens of airports were shut down.
Elsewhere around the globe, the man once accused of killing US teen Natalee Holloway was put behind bars in Peru. Joran Van Der Sloot was charged with killing a young woman in his Lima hotel room.
Ricardo Flores, Victim's Father: "He will pay for what he's done."
But to date, still no answers for Natalie's family.
Also in South America, 700 people died in Chile after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the country. Buildings tumbled, forcing the president to declare a state of emergency.
A few months later, Chile faced another potential tragedy after 33 miners were trapped almost a half mile under ground.
Miner: "I want you guys to know that we are calm down here."
But this one had a happy ending. The world watched as all 33 were brought out safely and reunited with loved ones after being underground for more than two months.
Craig Stevens: "Since escaping the mine, the miners have become instant celebrities, being offered book and movie deals. One even ran the NYC marathon."