Activity 3: Charting Wars
Students will be able to compare and contrast aspects of different wars throughout history.
Program One. Excerpt length: 2:30 minutes. Begins approximately 73:00 minutes from start. In cue: "The first twenty-four hours consisted..." Out cue: "...seen since World War II."
- Facilitate a discussion about the reasons for and place of war in history. (The Greek philosopher Heracleitus observed "war is the father of all things." Trotsky, leader of the Bolshevik Red Army, believed that "war is the locomotive of history." Greek historian Thucydides believed that countries go to war out of "honor, fear, and interest.")
- Distribute the chart below, photocopy onto legal size paper at 166%) and review each of the categories with students.
- Divide the class into seven groups, representing each of the wars identified. Each group should research the information necessary to complete their portion of the chart.
- If possible, create a huge wall chart to display the answers.
- Review the information, then facilitate a discussion about the similarities and differences between the seven wars. What conclusions can students make about war? How have wars changed over time? Will war always be part of society? Have students defend their viewpoints with the research information they compile.
This lesson can be taught in a minimum of two class periods. This activity would also make an excellent semester-long project as part of a survey course.
Additional Questions for Discussion
There are many segments of the Gulf War series that could be used to trigger substantive discussions with students about the Gulf War and about wars in general. If time permits, you can use the following questions for discussions, classroom debates, or as the focus of student research projects.
- Did the Gulf War achieve its military and strategic objectives?
- Why did Saddam Hussein retain his rule? Why did his Republican Guard survive? Was the continuation of Hussein's Iraqi regime necessary for stability in the Gulf region?
- Was the decision not to intervene in the struggle of the Iraqi Shiites and Kurds well founded? Did the Coalitin forces have any moral obligation to the Shiites or the Kurds?
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