Although terrorism is widely condemned, nevertheless many countries have given assistance to terrorist groups in the form of money, weapons, training, or bases for operations. Every year, the U.S. State Department releases a list of countries that support terrorism, and those countries face stiff sanctions. If a country's support for terrorist groups is not extensive enough for it to be placed on the list, the United States may impose sanctions nonetheless. The United States declared a war on terrorism following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C.

During the Cold War, a decades-long period (1945–1991) of conflict with the former Soviet Union, the United States provided extensive aid to anti-Soviet and anticommunist groups in many countries. Likewise, the former Soviet Union was extremely open about its support for leftist groups—so much ...

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