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Supplemental Materials include graphic organizers, maps and photographs, online lessons to accompany the printed unit, links to resources on other sites, and a list of recommended print resources.
The United States in Afghanistan
First edition. September 2011.
The Afghanistan War has become one of the longest in U.S. history. United States military forces entered Afghanistan in late 2001, a few months after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Today the United States and its allies remain in Afghanistan trying to prevent the Taliban from returning to power and creating an environment that allows al Qaeda to plan terrorist attacks. But can the United States and its allies eliminate the threat from terrorists in the region? The U.S. relationship with Pakistan and Afghanistan is complicated by mistrust and misgivings, and the recent death of Osama bin Laden poses new questions for U.S. policy makers.
Students use primary source documents, readings, and new media sources to explore these issues and others as they consider the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan.
Part I of the reading examines the history and culture of Afghanistan. Part II explores developments after World War II and the rise of al Qaeda. It also examines the history of Pakistan's relationship to Afghanistan. Part III explores the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and the region since 2001.
The Choices Role Play
At the center of this curriculum is a simulation in which students debate four distinct options for U.S. policy toward Afghanistan. By exploring four clearly defined alternatives, students gain a deeper understanding of the values underlying specific policy recommendations and the trade–offs that accompany each of the choices. The role play helps students clarify their thoughts and, ultimately, articulate their own views on the future of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.
The Geography of Afghanistan
Students practice map reading skills and consider how geography has affected Afghan society. Students identify the location of Afghanistan and its neighbors, explore major geographical features, and analyze ethnic distribution in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Looking at Afghanistan
Students analyze photographs of present day Afghanistan to learn about Afghan life and society. Students consider the benefits and limitations of using photographs as a source for learning about Afghanistan.
Life Under the Taliban
Students consider how Afghans viewed the Taliban by examining excerpts from two memoirs written by Afghans who lived in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.
The Cold War and the Soviet Invasion
Students examine the Cold War and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by analyzing letters between U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
Role-Playing the Four Options
Working cooperatively students develop and present four options for U.S. policy in Afghanistan to a Senate committee.
The Costs of War
Students analyze the costs and benefits of the war in Afghanistan and consider the role of the United States in world affairs.
Voices from Afghanistan
Students use primary sources from the Afghan Women Writers Project to understand the daily experiences of living during the current war.