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Afghan Troops Get a Lesson in American Cultural Ignorance

Afghan Troops Get a Lesson in American Cultural Ignorance | Geography 400 Class Blog RBroderick |
Afghan troops are told that insulting behavior by Americans is an oversight, not a slight.


Cross-cultural interactions can be beautiful when immersed into a new cultural setting and the visitor learns to appreciate it.  Unfortunately, it can often lead to clumsy missteps that are born out of ignorance of a new guiding set of cultural norms.  Some missteps can lead to great laughter while others can be gravely insulting.  The United States military seeks to train U.S. soldiers about Afghan customs, but they are trying a new tactic as well to minimize these issues.  The U.S. military has prepared a cultural guide to teach the Afghan soldier that they work with about the curious customs that are part of social interaction in the United States but not considered offensive. 


Tags: culture, war, unit 3 culture, conflict.

Via Seth Dixon
Charles Matley's comment, October 1, 2012 11:31 AM
Shows that the United States could use a higher quality education.
Rich's comment, October 3, 2012 1:28 PM
We could have used an idea like this quite a long time ago. The cultural bridges have already been burnt to the ground.
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The United States in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan War has become one of the longest in U.S. history. United States military forces entered Afghanistan in late 2001, a few months after the September 11 terrorist attacks.


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:04 PM

I think the most interesting question asked was whether or not America will continue to care about wartorn, impoverished Afghanistan now that Bin Laden is dead.  The answer is conflicted.  Obama brought home large numbers of troops after being voted in for his second term but now that America is well aware of the country and its problems, there are still people who care about what is happening to it.

I always advocate for taking care of the U.S. before going out to fight someone else's war and the U.S. certainly needs plenty of help right now. But humanitarian assistance is also needed in Afghanistan and considering it was America that contributed to the problems, we should probably also contribute to the solution (although we should back out before forcing too much of our own flawed system onto their government.)

Amanda Morgan's comment, October 18, 3:39 PM
I find this video along with the lessons for the Unit on teaching the War in Afghanistan useful. By the time I become a teacher, we will be teaching 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. The aftermath of bring home troops is what we are waiting to see as the video suggests, will it change our relationship with the region now that we have said enough is enough? I am eager to teach students about this because it is history in the making that is directly affecting their lives as Americans.