The United States in Afghanistan helps students consider the issues surrounding the U.S. role in Afghanistan.

Videos for Lessons: The videos below accompany lessons in the teacher's guide of the curriculum unit.

Videos for Readings follow the outline of the curriculum unit.

Scholars Online: Videos for Lessons

The United States in Afghanistan


David B. Edwards
Williams College


Jennifer L. Fluri
Dartmouth College


Benjamin Hopkins
George Washington University


Mark Garrison
Brown University


Paula Newberg
Georgetown University


Catherine Lutz
Brown University


David Rohde
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

Day One Lesson: The Geography of Afghanistan

This video can be used after students complete the map activities in the lesson.

How has Afghanistan's geography affected its history? [Jennifer Fluri - 2:00]

Day One Optional Lesson: Looking at Afghanistan

These videos can be used with the Day 1 optional lesson plan. Students might find it useful to watch the videos after reading the introduction to the lesson and before viewing the photos.

What is daily life like in Afghanistan? [Jennifer Fluri - 1:53]

What are the most common misunderstandings about Afghanistan? [Jennifer Fluri - 2:17]

Day Two Lesson: Life Under the Taliban

These videos could be used as prompts for the "Focus Question" section of this lesson. The videos provide additional context for the primary sources that students examine.

How did the Taliban come to power? [David Edwards - 3:15]

How did rule by the Taliban in the 1990s affect the lives of Afghans? [Jennifer Fluri - 2:27]

What are the most important things to understand about the rule of the Taliban? [David Edwards - 1:37]

Day Two Optional Lesson: The Cold War and the Soviet Invasion

These videos can be used with the Day 2 optional lesson plan. Students needing to review the Cold War might find it useful to watch these videos before beginning the lesson.

What was the Cold War? [Mark Garrison - 2:07]

What was the status of U.S.-Soviet relations just prior to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? [Mark Garrison - 2:40]

Why did the Soviet Union invade Afghanistan in 1979? [David Edwards - 1:22]

Why did the United States and the Soviet Union compete in Afghanistan? [Benjamin Hopkins - 3:03]

What were the effects of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan? [Benjamin Hopkins - 4:08]

After completing the activity, the following videos will help students explore the war's impact on U.S.-Soviet relations.

How did President Carter react to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? [Mark Garrison - 1:58]

What was the Soviet Union's reaction to President Carter's letter? [Mark Garrison - 0:59]

What kind of advice did Ambassador Watson send back to Washington? [Mark Garrison - 2:48]

Was the U.S. response a surprise to the Soviet government? [Mark Garrison - 1:32]

How did the invasion affect U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union? [Mark Garrison - 1:18]

Day Three: The Three Options: Organization and Preparation

These videos can help students gather useful information in preparation for the role play.

Why is there an insurgency in Afghanistan? [David Edwards - 3:03]

What are the divisions in Afghanistan today? [David Edwards - 2:23]

What are the divisions in Afghan society? [Jennifer Fluri - 2:23]

What is the significance of the death of Osama bin Laden? [David Edwards - 3:51]

Why is security an important issue for Afghans? [Jennifer Fluri - 2:04]

How has the presence of international organizations affected the lives of Afghans? [Jennifer Fluri - 2:18]

Why does Pakistan want to play an influential role in Afghanistan? [Ben Hopkins - 3:30]

Does Pakistan remain key to U.S. strategy to prevent terrorism against the United States? [David Rohde - 3:08]

Are drones effective? [David Rohde - 3:00]

How have conditions for ordinary Afghans changed since 2001? [Paula Newberg 1:34]

What are some of the positive effects of the foreign presence in Afghanistan? [Paula Newberg - 1:24]

What are the costs of the war in Afghanistan? [Paula Newberg - 2:37]

What are the biggest challenges facing the Afghan government? [Paula Newberg - 1:24]

Why should the United States remain engaged in Afghanistan and Pakistan? [David Rohde - 1:55]

Day Five Lesson: The Costs of War

These videos can be used with the Day 5 lesson to help generate discussion about the U.S. role in Afghanistan.

What are some of the positive effects of the foreign presence in Afghanistan? [Paula Newberg 1:24]

What are the costs of the war in Afghanistan? [Paula Newberg - 2:37]

What have been the largest costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? [Catherine Lutz - 3:15]

Why is it important for high school students to understand the costs of the United States' wars? [Catherine Lutz - 1:59]

Optional Lesson: Voices from Afghanistan

This lesson examines writings by Afghan women. These three videos provide additional context that may be useful for students before they begin the activity.

What is daily life like in Afghanistan? [Jennifer Fluri - 1:53]

What are the most common misunderstandings about Afghanistan? [Jennifer Fluri - 2:17]

How has the role of women in Afghan society evolved during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries? [Jennifer Fluri - 4:05]

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