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The Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan


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Question #1
What similarities and differences do you hear between President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech of 1961* and President George W. Bush’s declaration, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.… America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.”?  Do you agree with Richard Perle that today President Kennedy would be considered a neo-conservative?

* A quote from Kennedy’s inaugural address: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”



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Featured in " The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom"
Question #2
Do you think the United States played into Osama bin Laden’s plans by attacking the Muslim countries of Afghanistan and Iraq after September 11th? What other course of action could the United States have taken?


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Featured in " The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom"
Question #3
In what ways can it be said that U.S. goals for freedom and democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq have succeeded – and failed? Is democracy in these countries the goal, or is the goal now to maintain stability and establish the right of self-determination? What is your reaction to Simon Jenkins’ statement that the United States cannot win in Afghanistan because of a lack of understanding about the nature of the country?


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Featured in " The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom"
Question #4
In the video clip with Richard Holbrooke, he makes the distinction between regime change by political means and by use of force. What policy do you feel would have been most effective with regard to Iraq after September 11th? Choosing between two options – getting out of Iraq or sending in more troops – which strategy do you feel is the best course of action at this time for the United States, and for Iraq, and how should it be implemented?

Question #5
With regard to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, what has been the human cost – and the materials cost – for these two countries? What has been the human cost – and the materials cost – for the United States? How have the costs incurred in these three countries affected the U.S.’s global war on terror?

 

Additional Resources on the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

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