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Political Talk
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
bostonsc4
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Got Assigned a Case Study - Politics Class

Hey fellas,

I'm in a politics class at school and we got assigned a case study with a different topic for each student. My topic is this:


Justification for US and Allied involvement in Afghanistan in 2001

Now, I am not an idiot, and am very much up to par on politics / the military (actually just enlisted last month) Essentially what I'm looking for here is not the political opinion per say from here, or even other people, but where do you guys think would be accurate, reliable sources of information to just read about what happened, why, whether it was effective or not etc...


Also, thoughts on the way a paper on this topic should be constructed? I'm thinking to start it off by talking about prior involvement there in the early 90s, some big names during that time, what happened then, then maybe transition to 9/11, talk about all that, maybe end with our situation with the oil production there and how it might have changed things for us? I don't know, I'm hoping to just get some rounded level headed thought for this assignment; I'm not a politics major, just trying to do well in class. Its only got to be 12-15 pages total so nothing too bad. Thanks guys

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #2
MDydinanM
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If you really want to make a good paper, it will require heavy reading - hope you have the time.

Recommend you start with

Ghost Wars
Descent into Chaos
The Looming Tower
The Bear Went Over the Mountain
9/11 Commission Report

Various journals such as Foreign Policy, to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, etc. Also read articles, OpEds, etc from both conservative, liberal, and foreign sources. That way you get a broad spectrum of opinions that will help you formulate your thesis and be objective. You may also want to look at publications by Think Tanks, such as the RAND Corporation or the New America Foundation.

Also, to be fair, you should start earlier than the 90s. You have the Soviet context as well. Or, you can go to the times of Alexander the Great, to the British occupation, then leading up to the 90s and then 9/11. That way it gives an in depth historical context how past actions have shaped Afghanistan.

Last edited by MDydinanM; 02-12-2013 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
boce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonsc4 View Post
Hey fellas,

I'm in a politics class at school and we got assigned a case study with a different topic for each student. My topic is this:


Justification for US and Allied involvement in Afghanistan in 2001

Now, I am not an idiot, and am very much up to par on politics / the military (actually just enlisted last month) Essentially what I'm looking for here is not the political opinion per say from here, or even other people, but where do you guys think would be accurate, reliable sources of information to just read about what happened, why, whether it was effective or not etc...


Also, thoughts on the way a paper on this topic should be constructed? I'm thinking to start it off by talking about prior involvement there in the early 90s, some big names during that time, what happened then, then maybe transition to 9/11, talk about all that, maybe end with our situation with the oil production there and how it might have changed things for us? I don't know, I'm hoping to just get some rounded level headed thought for this assignment; I'm not a politics major, just trying to do well in class. Its only got to be 12-15 pages total so nothing too bad. Thanks guys
Doesn't your school have access to scholarly databases (like JSTOR for example - can't remember any more off the top of my head)? I'd guess there's a source with military publications, archives, statistics, and analyses in there.

MDydinanM's advice seems good, although I'd focus on the second half of his post to best avoid being influenced by bias.

Last edited by boce; 02-12-2013 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
badfast
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MDydinanM provides a solid list for a background primer.

But I have to ask what level are you writing this for? You said you just enlisted so I will assume you are still in HS or level 100/200 college. Correct me if I am wrong.

Assuming that is what you are writing for I would recommend that you not focus so much on the events behind our invasion--9/11--but focus on the why. George Bush's Decision Points would be a great reference for the justification. Since the book is about his own experiences as president he can provide his own explanation. He does provide good insights to why we invaded. Also reference his freedom agenda speeches would be a great source. Bush had the belief that free countries (e.g.: liberal democracies) were the most practical security solution that would protect America. This is a widely held belief and to further understand why he believed this would be to understand the democratic peace theory. To keep it as concise as possible the democratic peace theory states that democracies are less likely to engage in armed aggression/conflict against other democracies.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
MDydinanM
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To add, Id also recommend things from Al Qaeda's perspective. That way you not only have a Western view, but our enemy's perspective too.

A good book is Through Our Enemies Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America by Michael Scheuer (former CIA).

Then you can look at stuff from Bin Laden himself, such as his manifesto (of sorts) such as his "Letter to America" and/or Fatwas. Also tie the events in the 90s, such as the US Embassy bombings, the USS Cole, etc as a prelude to 9/11 based off Bin Laden's vision and how that has helped shaped America's stance against AQ just prior to 9/11.

Last edited by MDydinanM; 02-12-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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