Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Troops to Afghanistan

The New York Times is running an article entitled, "Military Chief Says More Troops Needed for Afghan War." The article begins, "The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, told Congress on Tuesday that success in Afghanistan would probably require more troops and certainly much more time, a position seconded by a top Republican but challenged by a leading Democrat."

The article continues, "The intense dialogue, at a morning hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, previewed the sharp national debate expected over coming weeks as the White House considers how best to pursue its new strategy in Afghanistan in the face of growing skepticism from members of President Obama's own party."

Questions for Younger Children
1. Have you ever worked really hard at something only to find that it was very dificult for you to finish the project alone? What were you working on? Were you able to finish the project with somebody's help? Explain what happened!

2. Have you ever disagreed with somebody else as to how something should be done? Explain what you wanted to do? How did you think it should be done? How did the other person think that it should be done? In the end, how did you end up doing it?

3. Do you think that its ever OK to hit somebody else? What if the other person is going to hurt you if you don't hit them? Do you think that it's better to use words or fists? Why?

4. Have you ever listened to two people, maybe your parents, as they made a decision? What were they deciding? When people are working together to try and make a decision, is it more important to talk or listen? Perhaps it's important to both talk and listen? Explain!!

Discussion Questions for Older Students
1. Vocabulary terms to discuss: Sharp; "Frame the Debate"; Lauded; and, Dysfunctional.

2. Do you think that it's appropriate for the United States of America to continue to send troops to Afghanistan? Why or why not? What if the Taliban could regain power if the United States left?

3. Do you think it will ever be possible to win the war in Afghanistan? Why or why not? Describe what the political climate in Afghanistan would look like if the United States wins the war, or perhaps peace, in Afghanistan?

4. Senator Levin argues that "accelerated efforts to train and equip Afghan security forces should precede any deployment of American troops beyond those already committed by the Obama administration." Explain his argument in your own words. Do you think that his strategy could succeed in enabling the U.S. to win the war? Why or why not?

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