How should Afghanistan be led?
October 17, 2001
Web posted at: 5:11 PM EDT (2111 GMT)
Overview: Why are United Nation officials proposing a multi-ethnic government for Afghanistan? Learn more about Afghanistan's political groups and factions and determine if the proposed configuration for a post-Taliban government accurately reflects the diverse political composition of Afghanistan.
Curriculum Connections: Political Science, International Relations, Current Issues
After students read the CNNfyi.com story, "What is Afghanistan's future?," ask the following questions:
1. Who is Hadayat Amin Arsala? Why is Arsala in Islamabad? Who is Mohammed Zahir Shah? Why has he been living in Italy? Why is Mohammed Zahir Shah hoping to convene an emergency grand assembly in Afghanistan?
2. What is the Taliban? How many countries recognize the Taliban? What is the Northern Alliance? Why do you think the United Nations would like to set up a multi-ethnic government in Afghanistan? Discuss.
3. Inform students that no one universally recognized government
currently exists in Afghanistan. Refer students to the Web sites below to learn more about Afghanistan's political groups and factions. Then ask: According to U.S. administration officials, what would be the configuration of a post-Taliban government? Do you think this proposed configuration accurately reflects the diverse political composition of Afghanistan? Explain.
4. What is Richard Haas' position within the U.S. government? Have students draw upon their research and class discussion to write letters to Haas stating their points of view about the proposed structure of a post-Taliban government. Ask students to consider if the U.S. should have a role in this government, and if so, what its role should be. Invite students to share their letters with the class.