Item Four: News Updates
The situation in Afghanistan has dominated the news for weeks. Heartbreaking stories and photographs cover print and digital media. The statistics of death and devastation are stunning, the predictions for the future dire and the costs overall skyrocketing. How do we approach this from a discipline perspective? That is, what can each class contribute to an understanding of this horrifying drama that is unfolding and what policies within the grasp of the subject we are studying relate to resolving the human tragedy involved on every level. It is a lot to absorb and it may seem a distant problem low on the priority list of everything else we need to learn and address on a daily basis. Without letting this one event among many that require our attention dominate our dialogue, we do need to see its connection to the functioning and efficacy (ability to produce an intended result) of the federal government, policy making and direct action. First we need to see what the United States got involved in Afghanistan in the first place, what its relationship has been over the last 40 years and what it is doing now. Has there been a consistent and constructive policy? What have been the costs and benefits of our involvement? We may find that a problem 12,000 miles away has deteremined more about the quality of our every day lives than we thought.